Wade: East finals an 'inevitable' matchup

Wade: East finals an 'inevitable' matchup

Miami : FL : USA | May 27, 2012 at 2:21 PM PDT
Source: NBA
Views: Pending

In 2010, Boston ousted Dwyane Wade in the first round and LeBron James in the second round. A year later, Wade and James were teammates and turned the tables, sending the Celtics into the offseason...For the fifth time in seven years, it'll be Boston or Miami winning the Eastern Conference championship. Game 1 of that title series is Monday night in Miami, with the Heat saying it almost seemed predestined that they would be seeing the Celtics again, and Boston's perspective being that the team in green is exactly where it expected to be as well. "Inevitable. It's the matchup the game of basketball wants," Wade said Sunday afternoon. "Obviously, with the Chicago Bulls being out, this is the biggest matchup the Eastern Conference can have. So we accept the challenge and we look forward to the series." Added Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: "Was there any doubt that it'd be us and Boston?"...Spoelstra watched Boston's Game 7 East semifinal matchup against Philadelphia without a notepad, not wanting to start game planning until the winner was decided...Miami beat Boston in five games in last year's East semifinals, and the Celtics took three of four games from Miami this season. Both sides cautioned against reading too much into any of those results. James said the game changes in the playoffs, even more so as teams get deeper into it...James and the Cleveland Cavaliers lost in seven games to Boston in 2008. In 2010, the Celtics topped the Cavs in six games, one round after easily beating the Heat in a series punctuated by Wade vowing that he wouldn't lose another first-round series for a long time to come...And this time, the perception of the Celtics is that they're old, tired and weary. The Heat dismiss those notions as "ridiculous," Spoelstra said. "No. Get out of here with that," Wade said. "I don't believe none of that...They're all 100 percent to me because when they play the Miami Heat, different ballgame and vice versa...Last year, yeah, we beat them in five, but man, it was like a nine-game series, it felt like." Boston did not hold practice Sunday, instead handing out scouting reports and flying to Miami. Celtics coach Doc Rivers was packed with the hopes of making a Miami trip even before Game 7 of the Philly series, just so he could take every possible moment after the game Saturday night to watch film of the Heat, and he planned more of the same on the three-hour flight from Boston. "We'll be ready," Rivers said. "It's going to be a tough turnaround, but listen, we're not an excuse team...Ray Allen is hurting and Boston will be without Avery Bradley for the remainder of the season, but the Celtics indicated they would rather just jump into a Miami series and not wait around. "I kind of like it for us," Pierce said. "It keeps us in rhythm...We're an older team so we get kind of stiff when we sit around for too long...Clearly, a clash in styles is possible, and the Celtics are leery of what Miami can do in the open floor. "We will lose in a track meet," Allen said. "This team, they get up and down the floor...Offensively, we can't play with the ball, we can't turn the ball over, we can't not execute."...A possible end to this Celtics run, at least with this current core. Miami trying to return to the title series, after falling last year...Both sides agree, this won't be easy for either club. "It's great theater for the fans and everybody out there," Spoelstra said. "For us, it's great competition.

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