The Celtics are doing the opposite of what they usually do. They typically start a season strong, struggle in the middle of the year and then just sort of coast till the playoffs. This year they flipped that around and started picking up steam around mid year and have established themselves as contenders once again.
The Heat on the other hand, were on a torrid pace early on and have recently slipped a bit. Or rather, you could say they've fallen flat on their faces. They might yet get back up and make another run - in fact I'd count on it - but I'm not sure about their overall mental strength.
The latest blow was an overtime loss to the Bulls where Rose really didn't play well just coming off an injury.
So afterward, in a silent Heat locker room as they absorbed their eighth loss in the past nine games on the road against teams with winning records, why was James staring at the wall and barely summoning a voice? Because the Bulls beat the Heat with their second string -- walloped them, in fact. And it left the defending East champs reeling. "It hurts, as a team we fought and played well and gave ourselves a chance to win," said James, who had 30 points and six rebounds but was scoreless in overtime when the Heat failed to register a basket from the field. "This is one of the worst feelings I've had in the regular season this year."
The Heat don't really scare me. In fact, I'd kind of like to get some playoff revenge for last year, but that's another topic for another day.