Former Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce is among those who feel it's too early to crown the Miami Heat as Eastern Conference champs.
Pierce said there is a lot to play in the series, especially the fact the Celtics should be full strength by Game 3 when Al Horford returns.
“I’m still high confidence on the Celtics,” Pierce said during an appearance on the Greg Hill show on WEEI 93.7 in Boston. “You gotta understand, they just had one day in between from a grueling Game 7 going into Miami for Game 1. They really didn’t even have time to prepare. And then they had no Marcus Smart, no Al Horford.
Pierce cited the Phoenix Suns versus the Dallas Mavericks series in the Western Conference finals. The Mavs rallied from a 2-0 deficit.
“I’m not sure if it’s a must-win,” Pierce said. “Miami is a great team. They’re the number one seed for a reason. As we saw in the last series, when you watched Phoenix vs. Dallas, Phoenix was up 2-0 because they won their first two home games [and Dallas still won the series]."
The Celtics players echoed similar sentiments.
"I mean, we still lost," Celtics forward Jayson Tatum said. "But we lost the first game of the last series. It's a long series. It's cliche to say the first of four, all that good stuff. Get some rest, watch film tomorrow, just get ready for the next one."
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