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Celtics Hub vs Hot Hot Hoops Round Two

Zach Lowe of CelticsHub, the source for all things Celtics in the ESPN Truehoop Network, took some time to answer some questions from Hot Hot Hoops leading up to tonight's Game 1 first-round matchup. There's some good scouting info for anyone interested in learning more about the Heat's mortal enemy. And make sure to check in on their site throughout the series and beyond because they do some solid work over there. Read my interview over at their site too. What is it about Miami that worries you? Any matchups that you see would put the C's at a disadvantage? Well, the C's don't have an ideal match-up for Wade, but no one does. What worries me is that in the last 20 games, when the C's have gone outside their normal man-to-man D to combat superstars, the results have been mixed at best. The C's will try to overload the strong side with an extra defender and jump the screens on screen/rolls to force Wade in one direction, but it's unclear if the C's defense performs well when they do that sort of thing. To be honest, that's the only match-up that worries me. Jermaine O'Neal seems to get up for playing against Kendrick Perkins and often starts games hot against Boston, but J.O. doesn't scare me anymore as a 48-minute threat. As an aside, he may be my all-time favorite blocker of attempted dunks. Will the Celtics let Wade run wild or should they try to focus their defense on him and let his teammates try to beat them? There is a lot of talk that the C's will let Wade get his and attempt to stop everyone else, and a lot of that talk is coming from Boston's locker room. But that's bluster. The C's are of course going to gear their defense to stopping Wade in ways I suggested in the above answer. Whatever they might be saying, they don't want Wade scoring 40. They may even trap him down the stretch of close games. How do you compare both teams' second units? Anyone that the Heat should be wary of that might be a difference maker? Glen Davis. He's by far the best offensive rebounder on the team, and he's rounding into shape after missing the first third of the season with a broken bone in his hand. He works hard, and I think he has a chance to be an impact player in the post-season. As for the overall bench match-ups, you've got to give the edge to Boston, though it's not nearly as big an edge as the C's might have anticipated when they signed Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels and dealt for Nate Robinson. But between those three guys, Davis and Tony Allen---who will spend a lot of time checking Wade---the C's have the potential for one or two impact performances every game. I don't think you can say that about Miami's second unit. I mean, that Heat-Nets game to close the regular season was ugly, ugly hoops. What was the cause of the Celtics lackluster record this past month and can they simply switch it on for the playoffs? That's the question at the heart of the C's season---can they switch it on for the playoffs? Their lackluster final month was really a lackluster 2010. C's fans and writers have spilled a lot of ink wondering what happened to the team that started 23-5, and most of the focus has been on age and the lack of motivation a veteran group feels during the long slog of the regular season. On the flip-switching question, I'd say the split is 70/30, with the 70 percent believing that the C's can flip the switch and find a higher level of play in the post-season. I'm in the 30 percent camp, and I've been there for a long time. I think the explanation for their 27-27 record over the last 54 games is the simplest one: The team just isn't that good. Rondo and a couple of other players were reported to be under the weather and some still are nursing injuries. Are you worried about the Celtics' overall health? No. I mean, you're always worried in the sense that KG is not going to be an elite player this season and that old guys wear down more easily than younger guys. But the key players that have battled injuries this season---KG and Pierce---are as healthy now as they've been since the first two weeks of the season.