Countdown: Breaking down C's-Heat
In the video above, ESPN's NBA Countdown guys preview the Eastern Conference finals between the Celtics and Heat, which starts Monday night.
How the Celtics will handle LeBron James and Dwyane Wade without Avery Bradley was a major topic of discussion.
"Wade and LeBron are the best two players (remaining) in the NBA playoffs," analyst Jon Barry said. "This (Heat) team is going to be very difficult to beat. Avery Bradley, he was the guy that was going to be on Dwayne Wade. Now it's Ray Allen. This is a banged up Ray Allen, there's no question about it. He struggled in the series against Philadelphia. Now that he has to chase Dwyane Wade around, that's going to take even more out his offense.
"There's no time to rest. I'd feel a lot better about Boston if they finished (the Philly series) in 5 games, which they should have. ... they're going to Miami in a day. They're not going to win Game 1, I can tell you that, and it's going to be an uphill battle from there."
That's not to say the Celtics won't have their advantageous matchups, says Chris Broussard: "You have a serious advantage at point guard in Rajon Rondo. Kevin Garnett I think is going to be huge. Who's going to guard him and stop those perimeter jumpers? He's going to be able to rebound with no Chris Bosh there. I think Boston can pack in the paint and if they can cut off the driving lanes successfully against LeBron and Wade, it's going to be tough for Miami."
Michael Wilbon capped off the segment:
"If Ray Allen went into this series healthy and if Avery Bradley was able to play, I think Boston would go into this series with an advantage. As it is, Miami, down Chris Bosh, has two great, great players going against four great players. The question still is does Miami have enough."
Play Podcast NFL Films' Greg Cosell covers the Cowboys' defense, Rob Gronkowski's impact, Darrelle Revis' performance last season, the Giants' talent level and the outlook for the Cardinals.
Play Podcast Buster Olney and Keith Law talk about the Tigers' acquisition of Joakim Soria and whether it's wise to trade within the division. Plus, Matt Gelb on the Phillies' plans.
Play Podcast Buster Olney talks to Marc Topkin about the Rays' plans with David Price. Plus, Jayson Stark on Price and the rest of the trade market as the trading deadline looms over MLB.
Play Podcast Patriots QB Tom Brady talks about donating to The V Foundation for Cancer Research and more.
Play Podcast FOX's Joe Buck discusses his memories of Derek Jeter, Jeter's final season, the rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox and the rosters for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game.
Play Podcast ESPN NBA Insider Brian Windhorst weighs in on the Heat's reaction to LeBron James' departure, James' mindset regarding free agency, whether the Cavaliers should pursue Kevin Love and more.