A surprising result came in the NBA especially in the Eastern Conference. The top two teams who dominated the league got eliminated by lower seeded teams.
One team had the best record in the NBA while one is the defending champions. The Milwaukee Bucks and the Leonard-less Toronto Raptors was eliminated by the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, respectively.
Below are three reasons why this match up will be fireworks!
Pat Riley vs Danny Ainge RivalryIf you are not aware, the two have a long history of beef between them. Tracing from their playing days and coaching days. Pat Riley in his Los Angeles Lakers days and Danny Ainge during his stint with the Boston Celtics
The rivalry is not a usual one, a scuffle actually took place between them during their playing years. It continued when Riley coached the New York Knicks.
After a few years, the two became team executives of their current team as of the moment, and the rivalry did not stop there.
From Ainge’s criticism of LeBron James, to Pat Riley’s shut the [expletive] up. The rivalry even reached to getting free agents.
Riley got Ray Allen from Ainge and broke down Boston’s big three and later on making one of the biggest shot in NBA history. Of course, Ainge got a revenge by being chosen by then free agent Gordon Hayward over Riley.
This might be a game between the current players, but we all know that something is brewing at the top of the organizations as well. So we better watch out.
The clash of the two dogs in Butler and SmartThere is no winning team if you don’t have players who can go tooth and nails against opposing players.
From Bulls’ Rodman to Lakers’ Artest, hard-nosed players are a must to win and the C’s and the Heat have their own in Butler and Smart.
The only difference that Butler and Smart has over other hard-nosed players in a winning team is that they are the leaders of their own team not just role players.
Those two multiplies their energy and mindset among their teammates. That’s why expect this match up to be super competitive.
Coaching Masterclass ShowcaseWe might witness a game of chess between Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra and C’s Coach Brad Stevens.
Both are well known as great tacticians and strategists. They are both young in their respective jobs.
They are very similar in many ways even in the style of play of both teams. This season, both teams went small.
The C’s got rid of their bigs with the likes of Al Horford leaving the team. Likewise, the Heat were able to go small with the departure of the big contract of Hassan Whiteside.
One particular similarity which will make it more interesting is the abundance of wings. Both have versatile wings who can guard multiple positions and can comfortably switch with different positions.
Tactically, this is a great match up for both great coaches.
VerdictWith everything that has been said, there will be no lackluster in terms of entertainment.
Rivalries, former players, tactical competitiveness, similarities in approach. This series will surely be exciting and fun to watch especially seeing household organizations going at it again after quite some time.
Let’s hope everything stays the same and let the series begins.