It's Dwyane Wade vs. the Boston Celtics in Round One of the NBA Playoffs
Listen, if you've been stashing singles every day since the beginning of the regular season for some big playoff bet, it wouldn't be entirely ill advised to go against your hometeam Miami Heat instincts and take the Boston Celtics to win in the first round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs.
Blasphemy? What? Let's put it this way: The Heat may have won 18 of their last 22 games, but the final week of that run saw the team dogging it against the lamest wastes of space in the league. While trying to lock down the Eastern Conference's fifth playoff seed, the team barely beat the 13th place Philadephia 76ers (twice) and the 11th place New York Knicks. Dwyane Wade and the rest even lost to the 12th place Detroit Pistons.
Then, last night, with playoff position still on the line, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra decided to sit Wade, Udonis Haslem, Jermaine O'Neal, and Daequan Cook.
Yes, the Heat were playing the so-abominally-bad-they-should-be-banned New Jersey Nets. Yes, it would've been a nice night off for the Heat's favorite fancy boys. Yes, beating the Nets should've been as easy as picking lint out of their ass. But it wasn't.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Heat led 64-51. At 13 points, the difference should have been large enough for Miami to coast through the final buzzer and into the post-season. Instead, they spent the last 12 minutes of regulation time wandering around the court like a gang of senile outpatients on a day trip to the park. And, in the end, the Nets outscored the Heat 27-14, sending the thing to overtime.
The next five minutes were excruciatingly boring. The Nets were lazy and bad. But the Heat matched that laziness and badness with expert precision. Both teams scored six points and it was off to double overtime. Thankfully, the Heat finally managed to outscore the worst team in the world, winning the game 94-86 and securing the fifth spot in the playoffs.
Now, our hometown team will face the Boston Celtics in the first round. The good news: Dwyane Wade's killed it against Boston this year, posting games of 27, 30, and 44 points. The bad news: The Heat lost those games, going 0-3 in their regular season series with the Celtics. Not to mention, Miami has only taken one of their last 12 meetings with Boston and that lonely win came during a game that both Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett missed.
So yeah, like I said up top, it wouldn't be a bad idea to put your money on the Celtics.