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LeBron predicted playoffs would be different against the Celtics

May 12, 2011, 8:00 AM EDT

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Back in February over All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, I got the chance to ask LeBron James about the Heat’s struggles with the Celtics. Up until that point, Boston had defeated Miami in all three of the teams’ meetings during the first half of the season,  and it appeared as though the Celtics’ style of play, along with the fact that they had been together as a cohesive unit for more than three seasons, would be too much for Miami to overcome in a seven-game series.

Well, as we saw on Wednesday, the playoff series only went five. And LeBron now looks to be prophetic in his answers to my February questions, specifically when talking about how the playoffs would be very different from how things played out against the Celtics during the regular season.

“We’ve struggled, we definitely have,” James said of his team’s first three regular season games against Boston.  “But we understand that every game is its own game, and regular season games aren’t playoff games, either. I go back to the year we swept the Spurs in the regular season (in 2007), and they swept us in the Finals. You want to play good in the regular season, (but) I’ve been around this league long enough to understand that the playoffs are totally different.”

When I asked what the Heat needed to fix to get by Boston, LeBron was quick to point out that his team didn’t need any fixing, only improved execution to get past the defending Eastern Conference champs.

“It’s not about fixing anything,” James said. “We have our system in place. It’s about improvement, on every aspect of our game, offensively and defensively. As we continue to improve, as practices and games continue to wear down, as we’re getting into late March and April, we’ll be fine.”

At the time, and given the way the Celtics had played against Miami in those early meetings, this seemed like nothing more than blind faith from James. But as it turned out, he was dead-on with his assessment.

Video of LeBron’s comments can be seen in the clip below.

  1. ezwriter69 - May 12, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    Amazing, LeBron knew the C’s were going to trade Perkins, Rondo was going to ruin his arm and Shaq wasn’t going to play even in February… he’s not the king, he’s a bleeping psychic wonder.

    • hnirobert3 - May 12, 2011 at 9:15 AM

      Change your handle to ExcuseMachine.

    • bils293 - May 12, 2011 at 10:12 AM

      celtics lost get over it…i cant believe celtics fans are still posting excuses all over blogs…when the heat blew out the celtics in their last reg season meeting, rondo had nothing wrong with his arm, whats your excuse then?

      • dolphinphan - May 12, 2011 at 10:29 AM

        its all over but the crying for C’s fans. let them cry all they want, its all they have left.

      • fouldwimmerlaik - May 13, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        dolphinfan – There is no doubt, the Heat owned the Celtics in this series. It was not even close. While Rondo getting injured hurt the Celtics, the Heat were going to win this series no matter what. And, I think they are going to beat the Bulls, too.

        But, I need to correct you on one thing, when it comes to crying…..The Heat OWN that! They cry the best of any team. Just ask that little goof Spoestra.

  2. ahemahem - May 12, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    This sounds like Wade’s takedown was intentional. It wasn’t, of course, but that made the difference.

    You don’t lose an all-star point guard and perform the same.

    • hnirobert3 - May 12, 2011 at 11:32 AM

      Dude, the C’s lost the first two games of the series with a healthy Rondo. They lost, in blow out fashion, the last game of the regular season between the two teams with a healthy Rondo. Whatever helps you sleep at night, I guess.

      • jstrizzle - May 12, 2011 at 4:17 PM

        But with Rondo healthy think how many jump shots he would have been knocking down…..

        /sarcasm implied

      • borderline1988 - May 12, 2011 at 9:30 PM

        The Celtics lost the first 2 games convincingly, with a very healthy (and underperforming) Rondo. It’s almost ironic that the only game the Celtics won was the one where Rondo dislocated his elbow. The Celtics only pulled away in the 2nd half, when Rondo was injured….

        Here are the facts. Rondo can’t shoot. It allows defenders to stay off him and pack the paint. Rondo’s incredible defense usually outweighs his shooting liability, but the Heat lack scoring PGs and considering the PG’s rarely have the ball in their hands, Rondo’s defense is worth very little in this series (and he can’t provide much help b/c he’s always covering excellent 3pt shooters).

        Miami’s help defense has been remarkable this series. That allowed them to recover whenever Rondo beat his man to the paint.
        Furthermore, Miami was able to pack the paint with everyone besides Wade and Lebron (who chased around Allen & Pierce). This was the main reason why Miami controlled the paint, even though their frontline consisted of Joel Anthony and Chris Bosh.

        Rondo mattered very little in this series. Honestly, Delonte West completely outplayed Rondo. How many times was West able to pump fake his defender and break down Miami’s defense in the 3rd quarter of Game 5 alone? Rondo couldn’t do that because he can’t shoot the basketball if his life depended on it..

  3. edweird0 - May 12, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    @ahemahem when are you just going to admit that the better team won, coulda-woulda-shouldas aside?

  4. coltsfanindc - May 12, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    hey ezwriter, its ok. I do the same thing when my teams lose. make excuses. trust me bro, it doesn’t work. only time does. LOL. this guy cited shaq who the heat would have just used to get to the free throw line, rondo, who cant shoot, and perkins who is a liability in late tight games. the C’s need points, not dead weight. they only scored above 90 once in 5 games

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