Wade: Heat-Celtics was ‘inevitable’ matchup
Boston did not hold practice Sunday, instead handing out scouting reports and flying to Miami. Celtics coach Doc Rivers was packed with the hopes of making a Miami trip even before Game 7 of the Philly series, just so he could take every possible moment after the game Saturday night to watch film of the Heat, and he planned more of the same on the three-hour flight from Boston.
“We’ll be ready,” Rivers said. “It’s going to be a tough turnaround, but listen, we’re not an excuse team. We’ll be ready on Monday.”
His players said they welcomed the short turnaround.
Ray Allen is hurting and Boston will be without Avery Bradley for the remainder of the season, but the Celtics indicated they would rather just jump into a Miami series and not wait around.
“I kind of like it for us,” Pierce said. “It keeps us in rhythm. It keeps us playing. We’re an older team so we get kind of stiff when we sit around for too long. We like the fact that we’re going to go right into it.”
The Celtics are averaging 88.1 points in the playoffs. James and Wade are averaging nearly 53 in the postseason by themselves, and combined to score 197 in the last three games _ all Miami wins _ in the second-round series against Indiana, responding to the Heat’s need for them to carry more of the scoring load with Chris Bosh still sidelined indefinitely by a strained lower abdominal muscle. The Heat said Sunday night that Bosh took part in an on-court workout after practice, but it’s still unknown when he will play again.
Clearly, a clash in styles is possible, and the Celtics are leery of what Miami can do in the open floor.
“We will lose in a track meet,” Allen said. “This team, they get up and down the floor. They want to score in transition. They pride themselves off of getting easy baskets. Defensively, we have to get back. Offensively, we can’t play with the ball, we can’t turn the ball over, we can’t not execute.”
All the ingredients are there for drama.
Boston’s Big Four against Miami’s Big Three (minus one). A possible end to this Celtics run, at least with this current core. Miami trying to return to the title series, after falling last year. James‘ still-unfulfilled quest for a championship.
Both sides agree, this won’t be easy for either club.
“It’s great theater for the fans and everybody out there,” Spoelstra said. “For us, it’s great competition. That’s what you want at this time of year.”