Can Miami put Celtics under the gun in Game 2?

But General Manager Danny Ainge's somewhat perplexing mid-season trade of Kendrick Perkins has put more pressure on Boston getting something out of Shaquille O'Neal, who I would submit should already have put himself out to pasture.


Sports Illustrated predicted a Lakers-Celtics final, which would be the third time that classic match-up has ensued in the past four seasons. But if that scenario does play out again, it will be with both the these veteran clubs having to reach down for something deep.


On Monday night, the Dallas Mavericks stunned the Lakers at the Staples Center 96-94, while the top ranked team in the East, the Chicago Bulls, also lost home court advantage by losing their first game of their semifinal with Atlanta (And Oklahoma City lost their 1st home game of their series against Memphis on Sunday as well).


But back to Miami tonight:Look, Game Two is huge for both teams. Figure that the Celts will get better games out of Kevin Garnett and especially their quarterback, Rajon Rondo, who got into foul trouble Sunday afternoon and was neutralized.


But if the Heat can survive the Celtics playing much better, well, it will shift the consensus on whether this Heat team is coming together at the right time.

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With seven All-Stars and six potential Hall of Famers, the Boston Celtics/Miami East Eastern Semifinal NBA matchup is the most star studded in terms of individual talent in a playoff series since the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers-Los Angeles Lakes final (the year of Mo Malone's "fo-fo-and fo")

The Heat dominated the Celtics in Game One Sunday afternoon (where surprise, surprise, Heat fans appeared to be all in their seats at tip-off), with Dwyane Wade firing up 38 points, LeBron James playing an overall solid game, and James Jones giving a big boost on the bench.

The Celtics were favored going into this series, but I believe the Heat will take it - and I felt that before Sunday. I felt that after seeing the Heat beat the Celtics badly on the last Sunday of the regular season last month. True, the Celts had taken the first three games of the series, but in that last game in April, Boston looked old. That's because they are, but they're also so good, and so well coached, that they can compensate for that.

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