At the beginning of the Heat/Pacers series I said that the Chris Bosh injury shouldn’t make a difference for Miami. I’d never before wanted so badly to be wrong about something I had written. In my life as a sports fan, this Lebron Heat team is the one I’ve rooted against more than any other (see exhibits A, B, and C). In fact, I kind of wrote that Bosh blog hoping for a reverse jinx of sorts. But after a minor hiccup, Miami easily knocked off Indiana.
And now we have learned that Avery Bradley is done for the season. A few months ago I never would’ve believed I write this, but the Bradley injury for the Celtics is much more significant than the Bosh injury for the Heat. Bradley adds an aspect of speed and quickness that Boston doesn’t have anywhere else. With him and Rondo on the court together the C’s have the ability to run up and down the floor in the same manner that the Heat do with Lebron and Wade. Without Bradley Boston’s offense becomes slow and one dimensional. And I haven’t even yet mentioned Avery’s biggest asset, his tenacious on the ball defense that slows down opponents offenses while frustrating and wearing down their ball handlers. With him in the lineup I thought this year’s Celtics had a chance to beat anybody; without him I think we’ll have to be happy to get past Philly. Case in point: Boston was 26-12 this season when Bradley started, 20-20 when he did not.
Looking back at the Big 3 era I’ll always wonder what could have been. In 2009 the KG injury ended Boston’s likely run to repeat championships. The following year Perk’s ACL tear may have been what turned the tide in Game 7 of the Finals in L.A. Last season the C’s looked like they had a chance against the Heat, until Rondo’s elbow bent the wrong way and he had to play the rest of the series with one arm. And now this year Bradley’s bad shoulder may have cost these Celtics a chance at making one final run together.
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