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One of sports fans’ favorite things to do is compare teams and or players in the realm of the hypothetical, so I’ll for the sake of fun entertain a discussion that I’ve been seeing on Facebook: 2008 Celtics v. 2013 Heat. I considered 6 different main points that would adversely affect a NBA finals result before I came to a conclusion about who the victor would be and according to this rubric, I give the Boston Celtics the victors of this series. Let me explain…

1. Defense: Defense at all 5 positions was unreal for Boston, specializing in wing defense. PJ Brown proved to be quite the X-Factor to help neutralize big men of oposing teams. Miami benefitted a lot off forcing turnovers and it’s no secret that Boston did turn it over a bunch. Miami also had the luxury of having the best player in basketball, LeBron James being able to guard all five positions when needed. Adv: Push

2. Offense: Miami was hit and miss with half court efficiency, however they did a great job in getting points off turnovers & Boston did a lot of that. Not to mention the 3 point shooting barrage that Boston on the other hand had an amoeba identity of sorts (could play inside/out or run & gun). Oh and they had this guy named LeBron James, he was pretty good. Adv Miami

3. Intangibles: Boston had the drive and motivation that not even the Lakers could handle in a 7gm series. They would intimidate opponents (KG & Perk effect) routinely and that gave them tremendous killer instinct that many teams can’t manufacture manually. Miami plays really well when challenged and are very good when they play with a chip on their shoulders. Wade has an uncanny ability to take over a game late and paired with LeBron they are a tough tandem to beat. Chris Bosh vs KG is the matchup to watch. Adv. Boston

4. Clutch Factor: Boston: Eddie House (big shot maker), Ray Allen (clutch, unconscious shooter) Paul Pierce (elite closer, arguably at a level just beneath Kobe overall, a back down game to keep the defense honest in late game situations), and KG (Mr. Reliable for a tough bucket down the stretch)Gave Boston an almost guaranteed strong clutch performance. Miami: Wade (elite closer, relentless defender in the clutch) LeBron (capable closer who can take over when the situation calls) Bosh (capable clutch 3-point shooter), Chalmers (Big time clutch shooter) & Ray Allen (aged but very deadly late game shooter) Adv. Boston

5. Bench: Boston had the task of rendering a supporting cast that would one, financially satisfy the parameters of the NBA and two, compliment the newly assembled “Big 3.” They hit it out the park having guys like (PJ Brown, Tony Allen, James Posey, Eddie House, Sam Cassell, Glen “Big Baby” Davis) to support the big 3 including a young star in the making, Rajon Rondo. Miami having basically duplicated the Celtics model had a cast of Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, Norris Cole, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem, and player/mascot Juwan Howard. Adv Boston

6. Coaching: Boston had a well respected Doc Rivers who catapulted his career into the realm of the elite after this championship year and all but erased the stink that the (often omitted) Gerald Green, Telfair, Al Jefferson era brought forth. Doc had the troops playing intense defense and instilled a sense of pride that most coaches couldn’t  dream to duplicate in a whole career’s time. Miami had a coach in Eric Spolestra who was once doubted after the great Pat Riley appointed him the heir to his throne as the most successful coach the franchise had seen. After a disappointing finals loss in 2011, Spo bounced back to lead Miami to a finals victory the next year against a young OKC Thunder squad, and was back for thirds. Spolestra, once criticized for not being able to relate to his star players had found his groove and had a well oiled defensive machine who had a newfound ability to adjust the personnel to suit the situation (moving LeBron to the 4 primarily). Adv: Miami

 

Cliff Franks

Founder, Hoop Jargon

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