Eastern Conference Semifinals preview: Heat vs. Celtics
The first round provided few helpful clues about Boston as it swept the decimated Knicks, but the four wins did give point guard Rajon Rondo the opportunity to reassert command of his team. The Heat benefited by being pushed all-out to overcome the tenacious 76ers, whose incessant running won't be duplicated by the elderly Celtics. The regular season offered mixed signals: The Celtics dominated overall (3-1), but Miami ran them off the floor in their most recent meeting.
The edge goes to the Celtics until proved otherwise. They're not as imposing on the edges of their rotation, but the four stars intuit one another and they rise to challenges. The Heat have improved throughout this "inaugural" season, but to prevail here Miami's stars must elevate their group play to a season-high. That's definitely within their reach, but we already know the Celtics can do what the Heat are aspiring to do.