If the NBA playoffs were to start tomorrow, the Celtics, sitting at the 5th seed, would face off against the 4th seeded Miami Heat.
The Celtics would be at a disadvantage because the Heat would have home court advantage. A meeting between the Celtics and Heat could be the start of a version of the rivalry that was starting to form between the Celtics and the Heat in 2010. However, since both teams last met in the playoffs in 2012, there have been many changes.
LeBron James left the Heat in 2014 and the Heat have re-loaded with Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Amare Stoudamire, Justice Winslow and Luol Deng which has added to the core of Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
The Celtics no longer have the Big Three, but have re-tooled the team with Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and Marcus Smart as some key additions. It would be an interesting matchup since both teams have had complete makeovers and are both back to competitive levels after having a few down years.
As a staunch Celtics fan I hate to say it, but I still think this matchup would favor the Heat. The Celtics have been an up-and-coming team this year with a lot of young guys and have even been as a high as a 3rd seed.
However, the way the Heat are constructed gives them an advantage in a seven game playoff series. They have retooled with a lot of veterans and role players with playoff experience, which is something the Celtics still need to work on. I think that it would be a well-fought out series and it would certainly be exciting to watch and help this young Celtics unit get playoff experience. If we want to see the Celtics win in the first round, we better hope they get a different matchup, however.
My Prediction: Heat win 4-3