BOSTON — For nearly an hour after their game ended, members of the Celtics lingered around the TV in the locker room at the TD Garden.
The game on the television may have been a matchup between the worst team in the NBA and a squad with its best player on the bench resting, but to the Celtics it was Must See TV. After all, their playoff future depended on it.
Finally, at 10:57 p.m., after some serious conversation and more than a few jokes, the matchup was set, and it was far from what Boston was looking for.
Dwyane Wade now waits in the near future.
The Celtics lingered to watch Wade-less Miami down the lowly New Jersey Nets in double overtime, setting up a first-round playoff matchup between Boston and the Heat.
"Miami is a tough team that just attacks," said Boston guard Nate Robinson, who hung around for the outcome, exchanging commentary with Rasheed Wallace and Glen "Big Baby" Davis. "They'll be ready for this meeting. They will be a tough team, but we feel ready."
While none of the Green players would show their hand, no one would have blamed them for rooting a bit for the Nets. After all, a first-round matchup with the struggling Milwaukee Bucks — who looked horrible last night — would look a tad more comfortable than a meeting with the Heat.
But, again, the likes of Ray Allen stuck with their poker faces while the Heat finished off the win.
"It's all about what we do out there," said Allen. "I'm not out looking at the other team."
The Celtics have had plenty of success in this matchup, holding a 10-1 record against the Heat over the past three seasons. But No. 5 Miami presents a very tough playoff opener for the fourth-seeded C's for one simple reason: Dwyane Wade.