Tonight, the Miami Heat will take on the Boston Celtics during the first game of the Eastern Conference finals. According to Heat star Dywane Wade, the series will be the spectacle that basketball fans are dying to see.
"It's the matchup the game of basketball wants... Obviously, with the Chicago Bulls being out, this is the biggest matchup the Eastern Conference can have. So we accept the challenge and we look forward to the series."Heat coach Erik Spoelstra echoed Wade's sentiment, saying:
"It's great theater for the fans and everybody out there, For us, it's great competition. That's what you want at this time of year."The Heat are looking to win their first of "not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven" titles, but they could have a tough time against the Celtics. The Heat struggled against the Indiana Pacers, and without Chris Bosh, the team needs monumental efforts by both Lebron James and Dwyane Wade to win.
The Celtics, however, are not at full strength. Guard Avery Bradley, who would have been guarding Wade during the series, is out for the rest of the playoffs with a shoulder injury.
Coach Doc Rivers said:
"Avery Bradley is having surgery so he's out for the playoffs. That's that. When a player goes down, that's disappointing, and especially with what Avery has given us this year. He's become a very valuable piece to our basketball team. His ability to guard the best [opposing] guard at [point or shooting guard] has really taken so much pressure off Rondo, in particular."The Celtics beat the Heat three of four times this year, including one game in South Beach. Paul Pierce said:
"It gives us some sort of confidence. We know we are capable of going in their building and getting the win. But they're a different team. They're in a playoff mindset team now. You know it's a lot different from regular season to playoffs. Teams get a chance to scout you."Who do you think will win the Eastern Conference finals? The Miami Heat or the Boston Celtics?