Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pre-Game: Boston (24-8) @ Miami (23-9)

We've seen this before. They've seen this before. The Celtics come into Miami with another win streak, hoping they can silence the critics and crush Miami on their own floor. Yet Boston hoped for the same thing last time they trekked down south, and their wishes failed to materialize.

Tonight, Miami will still have the Larry O'Brien trophy, the big 3 (James, Wade & Bosh), a raucous crowd and the hunger to tie Boston in the win/loss column, regaining power in the contentious Eastern Conference race to the finish line.

On Boston's side of things, the load couldn't be heavier. Despite having the #1 record in the East, they continue to falter against elite teams with losses against the Clippers, Bulls, Heat and Spurs so far this season. For all the wins in the world, a searing loss lingers much longer, poisoning a team's spirit when they KNOW they SHOULD be playing better, rising to the quest and stomping through their strongest foes.

Rondo, Pierce and Garnett must show up to play tonight. So must the defense, the fluent team play, and the bench if shots start missing. Ignoring the critics, ignoring the season standings, and especially the fans, the Boston Celtics must be ready to dance with the defending champions, outperform them and make them twist their ankles when these two bitter rivals clash again in South Beach.

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