The Boston Celtics are back in the Eastern Conference Finals and will face the Miami Heat for the chance to face either the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals. They took care of business in Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers, eliminating them from the playoffs with an 85-75 victory in Boston.
Early on in the game, the Sixers' defensive strategy was to give defensive help with the player guarding Rajon Rondo, basically daring him to beat them with his scoring.
He did. He hit huge baskets down the stretch and finished with a triple-double, scoring 18 and adding 10 assists and rebounds.
Boston's defense held Philly to 35 percent shooting, which did them in in the end. So the Celtics are now off to Miami to start their series against the Heat on Monday.
Western Conference Finals, Game 1: Thunder at Spurs, 5:30 PM Arizona time, TNT
The series considered the de facto NBA Finals begins Sunday evening. Will the experience of the Spurs hold off the athleticism and firepower of the Thunder? The Spurs have been playing flawless basketball, and were it not for their "age" (never mind that as a team they have managed to get younger), everyone would be saying that they are the prohibitive favorites to win the title this season. However, the trio of Kevin Durant, Brian Westbrook and James Harden has been more or less unstoppable this postseason as well.
It is easy to see how someone would think that either of these teams would be a clear favorite to come away with the championship this year.