And, oddly enough - the same three players that we believed would've made a difference last May-June are Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, and to some extent Chris Wilcox.
AB and Jeff Green are playing rather well right now, and Wilcox has been solid, too.
Even without Rondo, I still LOVE our opportunity.
Since Rondo went down, we've beaten the Lakers (probable playoff team, maybe more), Clips (playoff team even without CP3), TOR (IN TOR, and improved), CHI (A probable 2nd round team even without Rose), DEN (probable 2nd round team in the West), and MIA.....
Yep...I absolutely LOVE our chances, here. I was sad to see Barbosa go down, but even with THAT here is (IMO) our probable playoff rotation:
C - KG/Wilcox/Collins/Free Agent Big
PF - Bass/Wilcox/Green
SF - Pierce/Green
SG - Lee/Jet
PG - AB-Jet
I believe MIA does NOT have a clear path...if anything, I'm betting that they hope they don't meet us until the ECFs...for me, I'd rather get them EARLY...
Imagine that...an 8th seed beating a 1 seed....it has happened before:
Anything's possible, right?
DEN had a tough, defensive-minded Center back then....we have that, too.
Respect your opinion but beating teams in the regular season means absolutely nothing when it comes to beating them 4 times in a playoff series. Look at some of the teams miami lost to this year. wizards, detriot, bucks, utah. Do you think any of these teams beat the heat 4 times in a 7 game series tho?
You can't just say oh, we beat that team once or twice in the regular season so that means we have a shot at them in the playoffs! That's a very casual way to look at it and its not even close to being true. Plus beating the lakers was not impressive, not the way they're playing right now. Beating the clips without cp3, not impressive. Most impressive win was probably denver.
*Edit* Now I'm not saying that's what you meant when you named off the teams we beat I was just saying it means nothing. Every team in the league beats teams they should or shouldn't beat all the time during the regular season.
It's all about matchups.
We have Bradley and Lee for Wade, Pierce/Green for LeBron, and KG for Bosh. I actually still liked our chances without Rondo, but now without LB also, I'd have to see how Ainge fills out our roster.
Even as currently constructed, I'd go out on a limb and say Miami would least want to play the Boston Celtics of any Eastern Conference team.
It is and Miami wins at least the first 2 of those match-ups and could easily win the Bosh/KG match-up.
Miami is a far superior team to Boston. I would be surprised if the series went past 5 games if Lebron is healthy.
2014 Pick 2 Draft 18th pick of 20
Starters - Isaiah Thomas, Eric Gordon, Jimmy Butler, Dirk Nowitzki, Demarcus Cousins
Bench - Kendall Marshall, Michael Carter-Williams, Vince Carter, Wesley Johnson, Marcus Morris, Miles Plumlee, Nerlens Noel