OLD “BIG 3” vs NEW “BIG 3”

While I, like everyone else, have my own opinion of how Game 7 in the Heat-Celtics series will play out, I will refrain from stressing that point. Most of us have flip-flopped enough in this series alone to last us through a lifetime of Playoffs.

My real interest isn’t really who wins Game 7, because even at the beginning of the Conference Championships, I felt the West had the two strongest teams still standing. In other words, I think Oklahoma City beats either of these teams in 6.

My real interest is in the AFTERMATH of a Game 7 loss for either team. Once the 2012 Playoff run ends, what will be the ripple-effect of another season ending without a ring?

HEAT
After their dramatic “DECISION” in the Summer of 2010, the Miami Heat have not lived up to expectations. That’s not a discredit to them, because anything short of a championship would be considered “below expectations”, and no other team plays with that kind of pressure.

I think a loss tonight could mean a swift end to the “Heatles”. I don’t think it should happen, but it very well could. The excuse can’t be that the core players need to grow, or learn how to play together. So the issue has to be that they need DIFFERENT players. Their role players are nonexistent, which means they are all easily replaced. But when you have 3 superstars, with mammoth contracts, there’s not much left in the pot. One of them will have to go.

The Heat have all the talent in the world, with ZERO execution. When you watch them play basketball, you don’t see these great offensive sets, that wear other teams down. You see great stars, who make great, isolation plays. When is the last time you actually said, “Wow, that was a great play!” You don’t. Instead we all say, “Wow, that was a great shot!” The lack of play-calling falls on one person: the Head Coach. While Erik Spoelstra may be a good, young coach, what more does he need to be successful, other than being handed three of the top players in the league? When you are seemingly handed a Championship caliber team, and you still fall short of the ultimate goal, someone has to pay. Erik Spoelstra.

Bottom line, Miami added a great deal of fans with their collaboration last season, but they also added many enemies. Another season without gold is another offseason of doubts, criticisms, ridicule, and HATERS.

CELTICS
The Celtics were the first “Big 3”, and accomplished exactly what the younger Miami Heat are attempting to do. They have experienced the ultimate goal, but still not at the level we expected when they became a team. But they also joined together at much later stages in their respective careers.

What would be the aftermath of a loss tonight to the Miami Heat? The same as it would be if they beat the Heat, but lost to the Thunder in the NBA Finals. The same as it would be if Boston went on to become the 2012 NBA Champions. No matter when their run ends, this is the final run for the “Big 4”.

Boston has 4 future Hall of Famers on their roster yes, I’m including Rondo), and 3 of them are years beyond their better playing days. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are both playing on contracts that expire as soon as their season ends, and many believe they will start to shop around for bidders for Paul Pierce this Summer. Even though we are glorifying point guard Rajon Rondo’s efforts in the Playoffs now, we have witnessed it before. He has had Playoff runs in the past where he has shown himself to be an “elite” player…..and the Celtics were still trying to trade him this season. So he may be playing elsewhere next season. All we know for sure is that the Boston Celtics as we know them will not exist next season.

FINAL WORD

One team is on the brink of EXPLODING, the other is on the brink of IMPLODING….and both will have to pick up the pieces after falling short of their ultimate goal.

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