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Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Hot Button: Who wins the series?

By ESPNBoston.com



With the Eastern Conference finals tied at two games apiece, today's ESPNBoston.com Hot Button explores the only question that really matters: Which team will win?

Our Chris Forsberg makes a case for the Celtics, while ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh thinks Miami will prevail. Check out excerpts their arguments below and vote in the poll on the right to make your prediction.

* Forsberg: There's a more tangible and logical reason the Celtics will ultimately win the Eastern Conference finals -- something like the mismatches they've been able to exploit against the Heat with point guard Rajon Rondo and center Kevin Garnett -- but here's a better reason that's not nearly as easy to quantify: Boston simply refuses to lose.

Maybe it's the experience of having been in these types of situations five straight years. Maybe it's the fear that this could truly be the last rodeo for a veteran core. Whatever the reason, Boston will simply not go quietly this season and, having rallied from a 2-0 hole, the Celtics stand two wins from a third trip to the NBA Finals in five seasons.

* Haberstroh: The Heat will win the series because Chris Bosh is coming back and Avery Bradley isn't. Granted, we don't know what kind of shape Bosh will be in, but assuming he plays in Game 5 (and all indications are that he's a go), his presence alone will free space for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to work.

The funny thing is that Boston's best defender on Wade isn't Ray Allen or Keyon Dooling or Mickael Pietrus, it's Kevin Garnett. It's been Garnett who has deterred Wade the most on the floor in this series. And if Bosh's dynamic scoring ability can at least make Garnett steer his eyes away from Wade, that'll be more than what Joel Anthony and Ronny Turiaf have provided all series.