Q&A Session: Lucas Shapiro – The Celtics’ NBA Final Preview

Well, this is kinda late. Sorry.

Yes, the Boston Celtics. We all know them. They’re not as championship-hyped this year. But, hey, they proved everyone wrong. After winning against the Heat, the Cavs and the Magic, they’ve made a bold statement to the league and us, the fans. Remember the 2nd-half of the season? They were playing horrid. Finishing 4th in the Eastern Conference standings. Albeit, they still have that experience inside their team. And obviously, the Playoffs is a different scenario now. They’ve woke up and they’re now much more energized than ever before. Now, their against their all-time rival, the Los Angeles Lakers.

I brought in my good friend, Lucas Shapiro, who actually is my 1st boss in the NBA blogosphere. Anyway, he’s best-known for his works in Bleacher Report as a Featured Columnist and in Dimemag.com as an Intern. He is also Real Sports Net’s Director of Content in the NBA area.

The Q’s are in Orange while L-Shap’ anwsers are in Celtic green.

Way before the Playoffs started, Celtics weren’t even in talks being in the NBA Finals. How does it feel seeing your Celtics be back in the limelight after a 1-year absence and proving those analysts and haters wrong?

I’m happy for them. I definitely did not see this coming. I thought they were going to be gone in the first round since they were not playing hard at the end of the season. I guess the new trend of taking the second half of the season off has worked for them.

This team is completely different from the NBA’s regular season. With your guys getting rejuvenated and all, have you even expected them to wake up?

I thought they wouldn’t wake up. I was watching how poorly Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were playing and I thought they didn’t have a chance this year.

What are Boston’s keys to win these series?

Their main problem is rebounding. They are not the tallest team, so their key is to box out. That means everyone too, not just the big man. Everyone needs to crash the boards, force L.A to only take one shot on each possession. If they can do that, they can win the series.

When the season started, we saw a different Rajon Rondo. He garnered an All-Star performace in Dallas early in the year. Not only that, he also lead the league in steals; earning him a spot in the All-NBA Defensive team. Now, the Celtics main concern is him being limited. How does this affect the team’s play and how do the Celtics bounce back from this?

I always knew Rajon Rondo was going to be a great player ever since the beginning of the 2008 season. The lack of a consistent three-point shot can be a problem only if Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are missing shots. We saw Allen and Pierce go 0-6 from the three-pointer in Game 1 and that is one of the reasons why Rondo was less effective.


The Celtics are renowned for players, who contribute unexpectedly. Players like Glen Davis (HEAT series), ‘Sheed (CAVS series) and Nate Robinson (MAGIC series) headline the list. Now, which specific Celtic is gonna breakout and be the X-Factor in the team’s quest for Championship #18?

I really think that Tony Allen is the key to the series. It was mentioned on Dimemag.com recently and I completely agree. The Lakers don’t pay attention to the Celtics role players and Allen is the type of guy who can pick up the tempo and expose the Lakers’ lack of speed.

I’ve read your article on Bleacher Report about the 2010 NBA Finals. And I saw you picked the Celtics in 6. Why is that? Just to let the readers know.

(I actually picked the Celtics in 7) I think the Celtics have better chemistry and toughness. Everyone is talking about how the Lakers became tough. I don’t really believe it. They won one game! Call me biased but I think it takes more than one game to show your true colors.

I think that’s about everything, man. Anything else to say?

I’d say check my stuff out at Bleacher Report and Dimemag.com (*Click the links).You have a great site Mark and I’ll be sure to check it out. Keep up the great work.

Thanks! I really appreciate the time you gave us. Don’t give up on writing, Lucas. You’re bound for ESPN or any supreme Sports network out there in a few years.

PHOTO CREDITS:

Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images

Elsa/Getty Images

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

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Comments are much appreciated. Please leave them down low.

Follow Mark On Twitter (@InOutNBAMacGelo)

Shoot me an email at cualocsin12@gmail.com

NBA Playoff Recap 5/28: The Final Stand.

The Magic Vs Boston. The Final Stand.

The Magic Vs Boston. The Final Stand.

At home with the crowd behind them and a huge upset loss in Orlando, the Celtics nice and motivated, came into game 6 out to prove a point. That is exactly what happened, no excuses about it, the Celtics came in and punched the Magic in the mouth. They told the Magic, pack up and get your bags, because your going home. With all the support in the world, and krypto-nate showing a rare appearance, it was no surprise that the Celtics came out and dominated.

Dwight did all he could do.

These are the same Celtics that everyone ruled out of the title, because they just couldn’t get it going. Now I am NO Celtics bandwagon fan, I am actually a Suns and Magic fan, but you never count out a team that is full of previous championship winners and vets. Anyone with a basketball IQ will tell you that. That is what made them so dangerous in this series, they have been there and done all that before. They have been in a situation in where they had to rely on a Paul Pierce iso or a Rando-KG pick-n-roll, they knew they were going to win, and it showed.

Krpto-Nate came up big when they needed him.

Krpto-Nate came up big when they needed him.

They jumped out to a huge 30-19 lead, and never looked back. Nate Robinson was huge after only scoring 6 points in the whole series, he went on to have a solid 13 points of the bench. (I am petitioning for a “please play krypto-nate more” chant.) He was huge, even tried to dunk on Dwight “superman” Howard. That just shows, the Celtics just weren’t afraid tonight. The Magic played well, just it was too late. Dwight had a fantastic series as did Vince Carter and JJ Redick, (who better play a ton  more next year, he just does everything right), but with a disappearing act done by Rashard Lewis and Vince shooting the ball poorly, the Magic just seemed to be digging a bigger and bigger hole for themselves this whole season.

He proved he could lead them through the Eastern Conference Playoffs, now through a NBA Final?

He proved he could lead them through the Eastern Conference Playoffs, now through a NBA Final?

The Celtics seemed to dominate the whole series and it showed in the final game, they deserved the Eastern Conference Championship. Rando deserved to show everyone he could lead this team, who by the way solidified his spot as a top 5 PG in the game. Good luck in the finals,  Good Luck The Big 3,  Good Luck Rando and Doc, and last but not least Good Luck Bill Simmons.