Phil Jackson: Heat won't get by Celtics in East

January, 19, 2011
1/19/11
5:18
PM ET
Haberstroh By Tom Haberstroh
ESPN.com
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During a Wednesday afternoon interview on 710 ESPN Radio's Max Kellerman Show, Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson discussed what it takes for a team to march to an NBA championship. Of course, the Heat's title qualifications were brought up and Jackson doesn't believe Miami will reach even the Finals.

Why?

The Boston Celtics stand in their way.
I personally don’t think that they can get by Boston. I think Boston’s too good of a team. I think a team that is still going to win [the Eastern Conference]. But there’s a chance that [the Heat] .. can maybe round themselves into a team by that time and [win]. Boston is older and they’ve got to go through the rest of the schedule without having some kind of a break down in the players with [Ray] Allen and [Kendrick] Perkins and etc. They are just really a good team.

But there’s nothing like what the great, athletic skill and dynamism that [Dwyane Wade and LeBron James] have and [Chris] Bosh is a terrific player in his own right. There’s no doubt about their individual skills.

Back in late November, Jackson made controversial comments about the Heat's coaching situation after the Heat got off to an 8-6 start. But following that sentiment, the Heat proceeded to win 22 of the next 25 games including a 16-point Christmas Day victory over the Lakers.

Jackson isn't the first public figure to express skepticism over whether the Heat can be greater than the sum of their parts. And he certainly won't be the last. For the Heat, winning a championship may be the only way to silence the critics.

Full audio here.

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