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Are Miami Heat secretly rooting for Sixers to beat Celtics?

May 25, 2012, 5:40 PM EDT

Spencer Hawes, Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala, Evan Turner, Paul Pierce AP

Sports tradition calls for you to say, “We’re just happy to be here, both teams present challenges and we will just try to be ready.”

That’s… organic fertilizer from male cows.

NBA players and coaches have preferences. And like the rest of us in life what they are rooting for is the easiest path to their goal.

In the case of the Miami Heat, sitting in a South Beach bar somewhere watching the Celtics and Sixers slug it out in Game 7 on Saturday, they won’t say it but they actually do, suggests Brian Windhorst at ESPN’s Heat Index.

But honestly, the Heat will not be rooting for the Celtics on Saturday. It may have less poetry and glamour, but the Heat most likely would much rather see the 76ers pull the upset.

It is true that the 76ers are younger, more athletic, deeper and healthier than the Celtics at this point. But the Heat have dominated Philadelphia like no other team in the East over the past two seasons; the two teams have played 12 times, including the first round of last year’s playoffs. Eleven times the Heat have won, including sweeping this season’s series 4-0.

Miami will likely get the challenge of Boston and Kevin Garnett – a serious challenge with Chris Bosh still home with a strained abdominal.

But if LeBron James and Dwyane Wade play like they did Thursday night in the next round, it will not matter which of those two teams they play.

  1. sledgehorn - May 25, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Hey, that’s fair. As a Sixers fan I was rooting for the Pacers.

    • areyesrn - May 25, 2012 at 10:49 PM

      I can admit that if my Sixers team makes the Eastern Conference Finals, I’ll be happy. Despite the fast start to the season, I didn’t expect them to go very far. I didn’t even expect them to take Boston to game 7!!

      But then who knows, if Thad Young starts playing like he’s capable of, and Elton Brand starts making those mid range shots that he usually makes, and Lou Williams taps is inner Allen Iverson…

  2. packersareandwillalwaysbebetterthanthebears - May 25, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Having 2 of the 3 best players left is going to help them out… Here’s to the upset. Or a good, 7 game series in the finals.

  3. lakerluver - May 25, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Really does it matter, the Western Conf. Champs are gonna win the title in 6 anyway.

  4. Mr. Wright 212 - May 25, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    They can do what they want, but wise money is on them facing Boston. They don’t want to really play Philly. Boston has to depend on KG to get hot in order to outscore teams. Philly plays better defense, and are young enough to run with Miami.

    • david0303 - May 25, 2012 at 6:38 PM

      philly has no chance against the heat. the heat have won 8 of the last night against them and theve had a much harder time against the celtics

      • infectorman - May 25, 2012 at 7:19 PM

        “Boston has to depend on KG to get hot in order to outscore teams”

        Guess you forgot Pierce and Rondo. They’re both OK players, too

    • turnmymicup - May 26, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      Miami will be ready to face either of these teams. Whoever wins tonight is going to have to face a rested and hungry Heat team. Philly can run with MIA but they cant outrun them. The way LeBron and Wade are playing both these teams have a problem.

  5. j0esixpack - May 25, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    With Bradley’s season done?

    Of course, they’re rooting for the Celts if they have half a brain in Miami.

    Those who have watched the Celts know how important Bradley is to an uptempo game. Look at Rondo’s play without Bradley.

    He’s not the star power name but without him the Celtics hope of winning the title, if they can beat the Sixers, may have dropped from slim to none.

    Anythings possible but I just don’t see it happening now. It’s been a great and unexpected playoff run but ultimately age and injury do catch up.

    • giselleisasucubus - May 25, 2012 at 6:57 PM

      dead on, Joe. Bradley changed the Celtics defense to a degree that most don’t recognize. After the All star break, this was the best run on defense for the celts since 08. Bradley gave Wade fits in the 2 games they played. HUGE loss. Celts are done(I’m love the Celtics more than most of my family, btw. I’m just a realist)

      • passerby23 - May 26, 2012 at 9:06 AM

        Totally agree. Bradley completely changed things for Boston. Not only was he one of the best on-ball defenders in the league with long arms who bothered Wade, but he moves so well without the ball that forced Wade to work on defense. The other thing people miss is the ripple effect. This means more minutes for Allen on a gimpy ankle, 6 less fouls, and easier to game plan against. I really thought Boston had a chance with Bradley. Without him, I don’t think they push the Heat past 5 games. Oh, and how much energy will they have left even if they pull out Game 7 tonight?

  6. knightrider1755 - May 25, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Batman and Robin will devour the Celtics or the 76ers. Neither one of these teams are equipped to go against the Heat. The Celtics are too old and the 76ers are too inexperienced. The Heat are on a mission to get back to the finals. The only team that can stop this train from running is the San Antonio Spurs.

    • infectorman - May 25, 2012 at 7:22 PM

      Earlier in the year, when healthy, the Celtics beat the Heat at least 3 times this season, the writer forgot to mention.
      “Healthy”, is a relative term to all teams at this time of the year, but C’s are hurting…

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 25, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    I swear PBT is just trying to make me mad. Any team. Any time. Any place. With LBJ & Wade, I like my chances.

  8. monkeyhateclean - May 25, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Not that it really matters, as the Thunder/Spurs are playing for the true NBA championship. The NBA Finals will be as interesting as the NFL’s Pro-Bowl game this year.

  9. brianjoates - May 25, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    Heat learned from the Pacers series, there is no such thing as an easy path to an NBA title.

  10. justprofit84 - May 26, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Philly is gonna win with a strong finish.

  11. davidly - May 26, 2012 at 7:22 AM

    It’s easy for someone who doesn’t play the game to make assertions about players’ secret desires. I cannot imagine why a team would want the easiest path. So, does this mean they’d be happy to be crowned champs without having to play the game?

    Ask the commentators who are former champions and they’ll tell you that they want to play the best. I suppose they are full of something as well?

    • Kurt Helin - May 26, 2012 at 11:03 AM

      You can’t imagine a team that wants the easiest path? That’s human nature, we all want the easiest path to our goals. Maybe not Jordan or Kobe, but they are the outliers.

      Besides, the real test for the Heat is the finals. Can you see them beating the Thunder or Spurs right now?

      • davidly - May 26, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        Last question first: No. But I didn’t think they’d come back and throttle Indiana three straight games after going down 1-2.

        As to what I could imagine? I would think, if I were an NBA MVP or multi-time all-star, or on a team with the same, that is, some of the best talent the game has assembled, then I’d want the world witness magnificence as we take on all comers so that there’d be no excuses. As it is, there’ll already be those who say, “Yeah, but Rose was hurt.”

      • jimmymarlinsfan - May 26, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        I sure can…it’s the playoffs…there is a lot that can happen over the two week conference finals and the spurs and thunder look like they will have their hands full with each other, thus giving Miami a team that may be worn down…assuming wade and LeBron dissect whomever wins the celts vs. 6ers

  12. gmsingh - May 26, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    They should be secretly rooting for DWade to show up more than one or two times per series.

  13. lakerluver - May 26, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    What worked against the Pacers won’t work against the Spurs or Okc. The East sucks.

  14. jimmymarlinsfan - May 26, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Really? Is that why Miami beat both the Spurs and Thunder this year?

    I think the Heat want the Celtics so that they so thoroughly dismantle them, that Ainge is forced to trade of pieces and rebuild

    I get the feeling we will see Bosh back by game 2 as well

  15. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - May 26, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    This is a secret?

  16. tfoz5150 - May 26, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    @passerby: let’s not put the cart before the horse. you saw how the sixers young guards were driving at the basket against the slower gimpier celtics last game. I believe they’ve found a new strategy especially with your bradley guy now done.

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