The Boston Celtics got good news last night as they ended the New York Knicks season to advance to the second round of the playoffs after only four games.
The Celtics will now get the opportunity to watch the Philadelphia 76ers battle it out with the Miami Heat in game five of the first round. The 76ers upset the Heat on their home court thanks to big days from Evan Turner and Lou Williams.
This means that while the Celtics are resting the Heat's big three will at least have to play one more game against the energetic 76ers. This is bad news for a team that is relying on three players to play big minutes each night. Lebron James is averaging over 42 minutes per game during the first round while Chris Bosh is playing over 39 minutes a night and the migraine plagued Dwayne Wade must play 37.
The longer that the Heat's first round series goes the better it is for Boston who need to keep their old team fresh.
However if the team plays like it did in sweeping the Knicks during the first round then Miami won't have a chance.
Mike D'Antoni's teams aren't known for their defensive prowess while the Knicks did only have one of their stars at full strength for most of the games. Nonetheless you cannot take away from the numbers.
Rajon Rondo was a pivotal performer with 12 assists per game. Rondo added 7 assists and an impressive 19 points to average a double double. The benefactors of all those assists were Paul Pierce and Ray Allen who both averaged over 20 points per contest including going over 30 in the game clinching match.
Not to be lagging behind, Keving Garnett also averaged a double double landing over 15 points and 11 rebounds per game.
The Celtics were definitely on form during the first round but sturdier tests lie ahead should the Heat progress past the 76ers.