If things hold to form, the Heat should close out the Celtics tonight. It will represent a huge moment in the NBA -- slightly bigger than Miami's win in Boston on Monday night, which was fairly seismic in and of itself.
It is the end of the Celtics as a legitimate NBA title contender, at least in its "Big Three + Rondo" incarnation. It is the breakthrough -- the immediate breakthrough, mind you -- of the LeBron/Wade Heat. It lays the template for the Eastern Conference -- perhaps the NBA championship -- for this year and the next several, on top of it.
I hold out that the Celtics can grit out a win tonight, then one more in Boston, tightening the choke-hold on the Heat's necks, even if they end up prevailing in Game 7. I don't want it to be this easy for Miami. Not in Year 1. Not yet.
And yet that's how it will likely play out. This Heat team is better than we thought -- particularly if you were in the group that thought it would take at least a year for the team to break through.
A few extra notes:
*I'm a lifetime Bullets/Wizards fan, so I get a moment to say: Hey, those new uniforms are not just "not terrible," but actually really really good. I'm a huge fan. And between uniforms that most fans seem to think are pretty cool and John Wall, it makes it a little less painful that the team won't make the playoffs next year or anytime in the foreseeable future.
*Halladay-Johnson was solid, if not spectacular. It was certainly a fun thing to track on a random early-May night.
*I have no dog in the fight, but I couldn't be rooting harder for the Red Wings to come back from being down 3-0 vs. the Sharks to pull off the 4th 3-0 comeback in NHL history.
*I don't think the Bulls will beat the Hawks in Atlanta in Game 6 -- which makes Game 7 a you-don't-want-to-chance-things toss-up -- but I do think Chicago pulls this out, then exhausted, gets run over by Miami.
*Anyone else in NYC going to this tonight? Should be really fun.
*There are some incredible "longish" recommendations on Quickish throughout this morning and afternoon. Please check it out (and pop by all day for more).