Whether or not you believe that statement, as a Celtics Fan you must have faith in this team to win it all.
Many will argue that the Bulls are best suited to beat the Heat; but with Rose's injury, the lost of their backup center and the revolving door of their SG position, I believe that time has passed and they missed the chance to prove it last year. Then we have the Pacers. They pushed the Heat like we did last year. I won a bet with my friend because he thought the Pacers would eliminate the Heat. The Pacers lacked the experience, poise and overall star power to beat the Heat. Danny Granger and Paul George are not enough to push the Heat to elimination. Danny is at best a second option and PG is not yet a star. He can't carry his team pass the Heat or win an NBA championship.
The Magic, Sixers, and Hawks are in the same boat. They are mediocre teams. The Hawks are out for a while because of their JJ trade (how did they do that?) and they may be replaced by the Nets. The Nets are a very very interesting situation. If they land D-Howard, their Big-three of D-will, JJ and D-Howard scares me. But that is a dream of all Nets fans and a huge long-shot. What are the Nets going to trade? Lopez and what? If that does happen I may rethink this article.
That leaves us Celtics. What makes us better than all the other EC teams?
For starters, we have the Truth. Paul Pierce. He needs to play his best for us to beat the Heat. I believe he is the best player in the league at guarding/ slowing down LBJ. He knows how LBJ plays. He has the body and built to guard him. The Truth can make LBJ work for his points even at his age. The Thunder had a hard time guarding LBJ because no one had the built or body to match up well with LBJ. Durant was too skinny and weak to man-to-man guard LBJ. Harden is too small and weak as well to guard LBJ. Can you guys think of any other SF to guard LBJ? The Knicks' Carmelo comes to mind. But does he really want to play defense? He has the built and body to do so but he chooses not to do so. He's LBJ lite, without the defense and other intangibles. Maybe Metta World Peace? As I'm writing this article, i can't really think of guys that can push LBJ to his best or guard him that well. PP has age in him, but he's still best built and is the best match-up against LBJ. Where LBJ goes, so do the Heat.
Avery Bradley Has To Step Up
Next up is Wade. Our answer to him is no other than the future of the Celtics; Avery Bradley. Admit it. If AB was in the ECF he would have/ could have shut down Wade. AB has the size, intellect, and athleticism to guard Wade. Remember that block on Wade during the regular season? In the past we had Tony Allen guard Wade and he could shut Wade down for long stretches during a game. I believe AB can do the same and still contribute on the offensive side of the ball with cuts and shots at the basket. Will AB turn into an All-Star? Probably not. But can make make the all defensive team? That has a way better chance of happening. If that happens Wade will hate to play against the Celtics. Hopefully AB pans out. We need AB's defense.
KG Has To Impose His Will
The last of the Heat's Big Three... Bosh. We were caught off guard when we were facing Bosh. We lost the ECF because of him. He is no longer the laughing stock or the joke of the Big Three when they lost against Dallas 2 years ago. But he is still Chris Bosh. He can still, at times, turn into the soft, SG-type player that takes too many perimeter shots and does not take it to the Hoop. KG NEEDS to win this match-up. He, historically, can shut down and beat up Bosh. Bosh cannot, CANNOT beat us. LBJ will get his points, Wade should struggle with AB, Bosh can't be the savior of their team. KG has to impose his will in the games and turn Bosh into the soft player we all know and love. This match-up can make and break us. But ill still pick KG to own Bosh 9 times out of 10.
We have a better coach and should have a better bench. The way to beat the Heat is the same way to beat the Cavs, shut down LBJ's teammates and let LBJ get his points without dominating the game. We have the tools to do so. A shot-blocking center would be nice but it's not a necessity at this point. I believe we have a legitimate chance of winning it all if everyone is fresh and we still have gas left in the tank. I believe in this team. And we have reasons to believe we can win it all. It isn't blind faith and hope anymore. We're not being crazy or being unrealistic to believe we are a contender.
The bottom line is, we are still the only team that can match-up with the Heat. We can still win and I believe we will win it all this year.