On one side we have a young powerhouse. Feared for the ability to crush an opponent with a barrage of almost unprecendented power.
On the other we have the aging former champ. Prime? That passed years ago. All that's left is a veteran savvy… and hopefully that will be enough.
It is the early stages and the young powerhouse has landed vicious shots. The old ex-champ looks old. The old ex-champ looks to be done. All that's left is to wait for the sad end to what was once a beautiful run.
We can watch the whole fight.
No, the Celtics aren't employing a rope-a-dope style like Ali did against George Foreman back in 1974. I'm sure they'd have loved to win those first two games. But like Ali vs. Foreman, it's a long fight. And what looks like its leading to a crushing end doesn't necessarily mean it will.
In both games, the Celtics had it down with within single-digits with enough time on the clock to make a comeback. Credit Miami for not allowing that… but the Celtics were still there. A couple of games in Boston could make things different. That Boston crowd, and some home-influenced calls, and the last 5 minutes of last night's game would be different.
The Celtics have not looked great, but they're not dead yet. They're on the ropes and the body shots are flying… but they've taken those blows before. You can't think of it as the Celtics needing to win 4 of 5 games now. All you need to look at is the next game.
Win the next one, and you're ok.
No, it doesn't look great right now. This is not where the C's want to be. But plenty of teams have won series after going down 0-2. Miami did it to win a championship… losing by 10 and 14 on the road before whipping off 4 straight wins. How they looked doesn't yesterday doesn't matter anymore. All that matters is how they look on Saturday.
So there will be no talk of free agency or trades around here. The Celtics still have work to do. And they are most certainly capable of doing it.