The so called NBA experts have given the Boston Celtics a clear edge heading into their Eastern Conference semi final matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers. Most pick the Celtics to advance in five games or under. I think those experts need to have their heads examined. The reason for me believing that these guys are dead wrong is nothing to do with Philadelphia. Boston is clearly the better team at full strength, but that is precisely the problem. Boston is clearly not at full strength and this means Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers and company are in for another tough series.
The injury problems for Boston are very serious. Leading scorer Paul Pierce has an MCL sprain. This means the quick cuts that he needs to get to the basket are just not going to be there for him. This makes Pierce less dangerous because he is a jump shooter that has to pick his moments going to the hoop. This means the guy that was superhuman in game two against the Hawks is not showing up for Boston.
Ray Allen is also not feeling that great. Recent days have Allen complaining that his ankles are feeling so bad that they are where they were before he missed seventeen straight games. Bone spurs are serious and this means Boston is going to be perhaps without the games most dangerous shooter at some point this series. The simple fact is even if Ray plays, is he really going to be effective in that much pain? A jump shooter needs his ankles to not only jump and land, but to make quick cuts through screens to get his shot off. Can Ray do that in that much pain? If he cannot Boston will be missing a valuable weapon off the bench.
Avery Bradley is also hurting. His shoulder is still popping out and his rotator cuff is said to be very sore. This is probably why Bradley’s jump shot is not as spot on as it was before he injured his shoulder. He still brings great defense, but without his offense Boston will be missing the kind of explosive and athletic scorer that they need to team with Rondo.
The bottom line is Boston still has a healthy Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. Doc Rivers also has quality bench players to help soften the blow of all these injuries. They are still more than good enough to handle the 76ers. However, the experts predicting a cake walk clearly are forgetting about the injuries Boston has right now. I am predicting that Boston does advance, but not before six hard fought games take place. Remember Go Green or Go Home!!!!!!!!!