Wingman Efficiency Plays Big Role on the Heat vs Celtics Semis Match

30 April 2011

The already brewing rivalry in the east will be the main event in the NBA Eastern Conference Semi-Finals playoff series. That game is the red hot Miami Heat against the aggressive Boston Celtics. Both teams have their own big three in which will showcase who has the better team. Most people says that the Miami Heat is a more talented and athletic team than Boston Celtics, but the Celtics are smarter and more seasoned especially in the playoffs, but what are the real keys on this match up?

Of course right now Miami’s LeBron James is the center of their offense, although one might argue that Dwyane Wade is still the key but in reality we all know that LeBron James is the most important player in this series. So, in logic to stop James is to stop the Heat, but how do you really stop a player like LeBron James? Well, the answer of most analysts is to clamp him with a veteran who has the smarts and experience to do so and statistics says that Paul Pierce is the guy to do such difficult mission.

In order to be successful against the Celtics, James needs to step up his game against Pierce. Of all 277 touches that James had against the Celtics this season, it seems like the only guy to really stop him is Pierce. Against Pierce (who guarded
James 69% of the time), James only shoots 43% from the field which dragged his offensive efficiency. But the catch is although Pierce is capable of holding James off, he himself is having trouble scoring as well, in fact of all 137 minutes which James plays against Pierce, the Celtics wingman only averages 12.9 points per game on just 42% shooting.

So, therefore the key of this matchup is how this 2 wingman can play one another, sure there is Dwyane Wade vs Ray Allen and Chris Bosh vs Kevin Garnett which also be big keys on this matchup but the James vs Pierce match will dictate the games tempo. If any one of them can be successful on shutting each other down, the rest of the team should pick up the slack. It will be a series to really watch and whoever wins has the chance to take it all the way to the finals.