If it weren’t for the Big 3 in Boston in the late 2000’s, who knows if the Heat-les ever get together, forcing the rest of the NBA’s elite to embrace the reality of “Unite or Die”, and starting a super-team trend that may finally be fading, with the exception of Brooklyn.
The Boston Celtics trio of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce created the perceived need for the young trio of Eastern Conference stars in LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade to team up if they wanted to accomplish any postseason success. A new rivalry was born, with youth on the side of the Heat, and the rest is history.
This past season in the NBA Bubble, the Celtics vs Heat rivalry was renewed in the playoffs when the two teams faced off again in the Eastern Conference Finals for a shot at a title run. With totally new constructs, and both teams now sporting a team centered approach as opposed to the superstar-driven teams of old.
It was a great series that still featured a lot of talent, and after falling behind by two games out of the gate, Boston fought back and forced the series to six games. Jimmy Butler and Miami were fairly rested going into the matchup after taking care of the Milwaukee Bucks in five games. The Celtics, on the other hand, were coming off of a seven-game series against the Raptors, and fatigue may ultimately have played a factor. At the end of the day, the Celtics went home, and the Heat went on to play an inspired six-game series against the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Now in game seven of the regular season, the Celtics and the Heat find themselves at odds again. Sure it doesn’t have the feeling or atmosphere of the postseason, but the wounds are still fresh for the Celtics (5-3), and Miami (3-3) needs to be ready. The stakes are lower this time around, but that also means there’s nothing to lose, but there’s a world of confidence to gain should the teams square off in the playoffs again.
With all of the emotions in this game, it makes it hard to bet logically. The spread is currently -2.5 (-110), and I expect the action to be pretty even. Kick back and enjoy a good one y’all!
Do you have any friendly wagers going tonight? Did you take any of these underdogs? Let me know @JarkClonas on Twitter.