Rondo, the quick and crafty point guard out of Kentucky, would record a triple-double by scoring 18 points, ten rebounds and ten assists in Boston’s 85-75 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
With the fourth-seeded Celtics set to face the second-seeded Heat in Miami Monday evening, the Celtics may be the worst possible matchup for the star-studded Heat—who will most likely be without power forward-center Chris Bosh. Boston who would win the season series between the two teams, 3-1, may be the one team in the East—and perhaps the whole NBA—that can match up with Miami in all positions.
If there is one weakness that the Heat has is going against a team with top-tier point guards—such as Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose respectively—and a dominant inside player in the post.
In the case of the Boston Celtics they have both in the form of Rondo and power forward-center Kevin Garnett—who will most likely be guarded by a combination of centers Ronny Turiaf, Udonis Haslem and power forward Shane Battier.
If Boston is going to exploit Miami’s weakness in guarding opposing point guards, look for the Celtic’s offense to run through a combination of Rondo’s speed, penetration, slick passing, timely shooting and Garnett’s inside presence in the post in a effort to exploit Bosh’s absence.
While shooting guard Ray Allen will most likely be matched up against Miami’s Dwyane Wade, the other key match-up in the Boston-Miami series—other than Rondo against Heat point guard Mario Chalmers—will be between small forwards Paul Pierce and LeBron James.
Going back to James’ days in Cleveland, Pierce is one of the few players in the entire NBA that can match James in both scoring and in being physical down low, while there is no love lost between the two, look for Pierce to clamp down on James in what will be a tough series.
With Rondo most likely facilitating the Celtic’s offense, look for Boston to give the Miami all they can handle in what will be a rugged and physical series.
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