by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

It’s a familiar refrain from opponents whenever they’re asked about the new-look Boston Celtics. Everyone seems to say the same thing: “They’re different.”

Essentially, what they mean, but are too respectful and weary of Boston to say it just yet, is that the Celtics minus Kendrick Perkins are a weaker team. It’s a point Chris Bosh, of all people, made after Miami got over the hump yesterday and finally beat Boston this season.

The win pushed the Heat a game ahead of the C’s for the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference — giving them confidence should they meet in the Playoffs, and more importantly, home court advantage.

From the Herald:

After whacking the Celtics , 100-77, yesterday afternoon, the Heat hit them again. Speaking of the difference in the Celts since their big trade, Chris Bosh said things were essentially the same in what they try to do. Then he added, “It’s just a difference in players. Kendrick (Perkins) brought a certain element to that team, and it’s not there anymore.” Bosh then said people should remember last season and not overlook the Celts, but he’d already made his point. So did the Heat yesterday.

Three days before the end of the regular season, the 1 in Miami’s 1-3 mark against the Celts was looking big to the locals. “This is our first time beating them as a team,” said Dwyane Wade after another rocky shooting day against the C’s (4-for-12 while his team was hitting 50.7 percent). “We got over that hump today. You need to see that you can perform against a team.”

In the grand scheme of things, it’s just one game, but a meaningful one with the postseason looming.

In the Playoffs, should Boston’s foes continue to feel the same way Bosh does now, GM Danny Ainge might want to think about going into hiding for a while.