There has to be something in the Boston water, because Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and co. seem to be getting younger as the NBA’s season progresses. Tuesday night, the supposedly washed-up Boston Celtics defeated the Heat, marking the second time in one week that Miami fell to the Celts. Pierce added 27 points, and KG chipped in with 24 points and 9 rebounds.
KG hasn’t looked this effective in years, Rajon Rondo continues to play like the league’s best point guard (his streak of double-digit assist games reached 18, the longest such streak in 20 years), and Pierce is still scoring points in bunches. At the beginning of the season, I would have put money on the Celts’ old legs suffering from such a condensed season, but they continue to buck logic (they’ve won a league-best 18 games since the break) and gain momentum heading into the postseason. It really wouldn’t surprise me to see them sneak into the finals; they may not be the most athletic team in the league, but the NBA playoffs are about strong defense and good half-court offenses. Boston excels in both areas.
The Miami Heat, on the other hand, continue their roller coaster season, one that’s sure to leave Tins an emotional wreck. There’s a lot of talent on that team, to be sure, and they play fantastic team defense. But a large part of their arsenal is a mastery of the fast break, something that good defense teams – like the Celtics – can curb. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how LeBron and co. cope with a slower-paced game.