Re: Boston Celtics: How good can they really be?
Firstly, Lee is and always has been severely overrated as a defender. While he is above average, he is not and never has been even close to an elite defender. The idea that a frail-looking Lee will slow down the physical specimens that Wade and Lebron are is sheer comedy.
Secondly, the Celtics have developed a versatile team, no doubt in an effort to address their embarrassing offensive struggles the last couple of seasons. Their issue in size as it pertains to their centers and backcourt could prove to be a point to exploit as it has in moments this pre-season, but generally I think that those weak points will not deter them from winning games. Ainge has done a tremendous job at reloading the team, and it would surprise me if they don't find themselves in the ECF.
With that said, I still think that Lebron, as he has been the last two post-seasons when the Heat and Celtics have met, will just be too much to overcome. The Celtics don't have a big man that can exploit Miami's small ball tactics, and as impressive as their depth is, depth truly is marginalized in the post-season. Ask the Spurs.
It will come down to can the 5 players on the floor for the Celtics at any given time stop the Heat from scoring, and if their top talent can conversely keep up on the offensive end. I'm just not sure. As amazing as Rondo is, for some reason his elevated play as a point guard has never really translated into offensive success for the team. We won't know for sure until mid-way through the season if this will continue to hold true, but opening night will be the first of many measuring sticks between the Celtics and Heat.