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Red's Army

Expert Predictions are Heated

Jay May 28, 2012 Gametime, Previews 9 Comments

The 2012 Eastern Conference Finals begin tonight in Miami and the Celtics might be just where they love to be: the underdogs.  During the New Big Three Era, they have been here before.  Many picked them to defeat the Hawks in 2008, while there were some detractors for the series against the Cavs, Pistons and yes, even the majority picked the Lakers in The Finals.

In 2009 once KG was out for the playoffs, many still felt that they would defeat Chicago in the opening round but then it got divided after that against Orlando.  In 2010 they were the ultimate underdog even in the first round where if memory serves, the majority of them even picked the pre-LeBron/Bosh/Wade Heat to defeat the even then old Celtics.  Obviously they weren't favored against either the Cavs, Magic or Lakers again and they thrived nearly all the way to banner 18.

Last season there may have been a handful that picked the Knicks in round one, but the majority favored Miami in round 2 and were correct.  This year, they did what many felt that they were supposed to do once the playoffs started (including Derrick Rose tearing his ACL) and disposed of the Hawks and Sixers even though it took longer that it should have.  But now it's Miami.  And the Heat is on Boston big time.

Scouring the interwebs for the "expert" predictions the overwhelming majority have chosen Miami.  In fact, the Miami Sun-Sentinel went as far as to entitle their online poll by asking how many games will it take to defeat the Celtics, not IF they will.  Somehow, this all seems fair and in a normal season it would make perfect sense.

This season has been anything but normal and for the Celtics to be such huge underdogs that will suit them just fine.  I'm not about to say it will be as easy as say, Stephen A. Smith proclaimed on SportsCenter this morning, but here are what the pundits around the league are saying:

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As you can tell, there's not exactly a green colored set of preditictions there.  Here are some links for some other predictions:

Theses are the majority of the predicitons out there and most of them have Miami basically in 6 games.  That would indicate that a lot of people envision the New Big Three Era ending in Boston.  While that is possible I don't think it's likely.  I also don't see the Celtics getting swept nor do I see them repeating last year's disappointing series loss in 5 games.

Barring no further health issues for either team (that is clearly no guarantee at this point), I've always felt that once this era comes to a close, it will end at the very last possible moment.  The 2010 NBA Finals is sort of what I'm referring to.  The Celtics opponent needed every last possible second of every possession to finally knock them out.  I don't see this series being much different from that, all the way down to the ending.

As tough as it is to say it, I think Miami defeats them in 7 brutal games.  To defeat them, they will need Rondo to be that player to literally win games and carry his team through a series.  The highest level of play that critics often say he can't accomplish to put him in that ranking of top 10 players in the NBA.  They'll need a series of masterful and dominating 2008 KG performances.  They'll need Paul Pierce to at the very least neutralize LeBron James.  They'll need Ray Allen to become even 50% of what he was.  They'll need an entire army of wing players to at least contain Dwyane Wade for 7 games.  They'll also need to hope Chris Bosh stays at home while they try to steal a game on the road.

There you have it.  This Celtics team truly has played with grit and balls and they will go out guns blazing, screaming, clawing and burning the house down while they're still in it.  While I think Miami will win I don't know just as nobody truly knows.  I do know that it's going to be a joy watching this series just like it has been a dream watching these guys revive the Celtics franchise that was dead for far too long.  Enjoy it because if the majority of basketball minds are correct, it just may be coming to an end.  But, just like Kevin Garnett screamed to the world after bringing home banner 17:

  

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  • JimmyG

    I hate saying this but I just don’t feel good about this series. The Heat are incredibly flawed but the Celts are hobbled. If we had Avery Bradley here still we would win this series in six games. He shuts Wade down regularly. But we don’t have him starting and Stiemsma is hobbled too. I think our best chance would be starting Pietrus over Ray only because I think our offense is really stagnant with Ray starting at this point. We have to depend on Rondo to light it up for an entire series and lead this team and at this point I just don’t think he’s comfortable doing that with three first ballot hall of famers surrounding him. I’m hoping for the best but I’m thinking unless Rondo averages 20-7-12 we lose it in six. Regardless, I love this year’s team and I know they’ll fight every second of this series if nothing else.

  • Quest

    Not enough talent left on this team to sustain a win unfortunately but Celtic proud they will go down fighting.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/d99925586564912909 Germán Barbosa

    Well, this time, we gotta admit we aren’t favourites, and it’s okay…

  • Danno

    Kenny Smith and Shaq both picked the Celtics in 6.
    That’s good enough for me. I always trust the opinions of actual players over unathletic “experts” whose most athletic accomplishment was getting stuffed into a locker in high school anyway.

  • Nick Sannicandro

    expert picks mean NOTHING need I remind you of this prediction by the same panel of “experts” in 2010 vs. the Cleveland Cavs?
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v731/nick122589/experts.jpg

  • Travis

    Exactly… Loved it then, would love it now. Prove them ALLLLLLLLL WRONG. Go Celtics!

  • RyanH

    I don’t give a shit what the experts think. They picked against us in 08. As long as those guys in that locker room, led by Doc and KG, believe we can win it, I believe they will. Get the Heat into close games and they will wilt. Celtics in 7 games.

  • I bleed green in L.A.

    I feel IF Ray is hitting his shot and making Wade earn his, AND IF Bosh is out all series….and obviously IF Rajon, KG and Paul are doing their thing we should win in 6. So 3 IF’s equals a trip to the Finals?

  • FuckdaNBA

    Wake the fuck up. We won’t win this series despite the fact that we are the better team. NBA gave the heat this game. We were tied at half when we shoulda been up by 10. Every tech was absolute bull shit. We got raped when we took it to the rim and we couldn’t cough on the heat without it being a call. Take your blinders off. This shit is rigged. Your telling me that rat face (spolstra) didn’t argue a call? If he did he shoulda caught a tech. Yeah we lost by 15 but the refs easily swung it by 30. Open your eyes!!!