Historically speaking, Celtics look to damage LeBron’s Heat

LeBron James and the Heat are seeking their 23rd straight win Monday in Boston.
LeBron James and the Heat are seeking their 23rd straight win Monday in Boston.

When Rajon Rondo went down with his season-ending ACL injury on Jan. 27, many conceded that the Celtics’ chances at beating the Miami Heat in a seven-game series ended.

While that sentiment still holds mostly true, despite the Celtics’ sterling 16-6 record since Rondo went down with the injury, Boston can still deliver considerable damage to the psyche of the Heat and send a message to the rest of the league if they are able to end Miami’s phenomenal winning streak – which reached 22 games Sunday. The streak is now tied for the second longest in NBA history, behind the Lakers’ 33-game mark in 1971-72.

There is a chance that the C’s will have to attempt to slay the streak without the services of Kevin Garnett, who is nursing a left adductor strain. The pesky injury kept Garnett out of the Celtics’ 105-88 win over the Bobcats Saturday night.

“We don’t know what he’s going to do (against the Heat),” Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said Sunday. “My guess is he’s 50-50 at best … again, I don’t think it’s that serious. It’s just at the point of the year where you’re just not going to play him if he’s not feeling great.”
Rivers also spoke on the recent play of Miami’s LeBron James, who is arguably playing the best basketball of his career and is leading many to speculate that he could soon be considered the greatest ever.

“He’s close, yeah,” Rivers said. “I don’t really know who(the greatest) is. Michael (Jordan) is the best player that I’ve ever seen. I never really got the chance to watch Bill (Russell) or those guys back in their day.

“My dad died saying Bill Russell (was the best ever). That’s the way he believed. But I always try to let guys finish their career before we start comparing them to anybody and I think we should wait for that.”

Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS


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