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One-on-One: What NBA team is best in the East?

Originally published November 19, 2010

Miami Heat

While most are jumping off the Miami Heat bandwagon as fast as humanly possible, I’ve taken over the passenger seat on the wagon right next to Pat Riley.

Opinions on the Heat seem to only exist in extremes. They could be the greatest team since the 1996 Chicago Bulls. Or they represent all that is wrong with sports, are led by the gutless LeBron James and will be the fourth best team in the Eastern Conference, if they are lucky.

The Heat’s current record may seem to give credence to the latter opinion, but we can’t forget the team has only played 10 games together and still has much to learn.

While the games of LeBron and Dwayne Wade don’t need improvement, Chris Bosh will have to learn to be a true forward who can exist without the ball in his hands 24/7 like he was in Toronto. This process will take awhile.

Also, the man who once shot 50 percent from 3-point land has yet to play a single game with the Heat. Once the rarely-injured Mike Miller comes back, the

Heat will have a spot-up shooter to co-exist with Wade’s and LeBron’s ability to get to the basket.

While it may not be cool in the sporting world to preach patience, one will have to wait a month or two to see the true power of the Heat.

No doubt about it, the Heat will represent the East in the NBA Finals.

-Zach Berg

 


Boston Celtics

 

After two trips to the Finals and one title in the last three years, the Boston Celtics are the team to beat in the East.

No matter how many “top-ten” players any team signed in the offseason, the road to the Lakers goes through the original Big Three.

Unlike South Beach’s talented three, the Celtics rely on four, count them, four future Hall-of-Famers, and it’s still early in his career, but Rajon Rondo could be on his way to the hallowed halls of Springfield, Mass., as well.

The Heat have star power. LeBron could, and probably should, be Time’s Person of the Year, but how have they looked so far this season?

Lost? Confused? Like Eric Spolstra’s gameplan is to let one of them go off night in-night out and they’ll win every game.

It looks to me like they are mailing it in hard.

More importantly, how have they fared against the Celtics? Not well. Not well at all.

Boston has one thing the Heat doesn’t have. Fire.

Kevin Garnett called someone a cancer patient. Now, that’s not cool at all, but KG knows no bounds and will do anything to get in your head to win a basketball game.

This team, behind both KG and Rondo’s not-dirty-enough-to-be-a-foul play, and Paul Pierce and Ray Allen’s lights-out shooting, is geared for yet another run to the Finals.

-Bill Hopkins