Celtics (12-4) at Miami (9-6)
Game Time: 6pm TV – CSN, NBATV. RADIO – WEEI-AM (850)
Celtics: Pierce – 20 Miami: Wade – 27.1
Celtics; Garnett – 7.3 Miami: Haslem – 8.9
Celtics: Rondo – 8.9 Miami: Wade – 5.3
Who'll go off: Paul Pierce. We're definitely riding the hot hand here. Pierce is getting it done in all aspects of the game. It depends on how the Heat decide to play Pierce. Quentin Richardson is probably returning after sitting out with back spasms… which means he may end up guarding Pierce. If that's the case, chalk up a 30 point game for the Captain. They could put Wade on Pierce and Mario Chalmers on Rajon Rondo, which would mean Q would guard Ray Allen. If that's the case… then my pick is Ray
Basically, the answer here should be "whomever Q is guarding"
Who needs to be stopped: As much as I hate to pick the obvious guy, it's Dwyane Wade. Guys like Jermaine O'Neal and Michael Beasley will check in with point totals somwhere in the teens. Chalmers will go off one night and then be quiet on others. But if DWade has a hot night, then Miami has a great chance. If he has an Allen Iverson type shooting night, there isn't enough firepower on the rest of the team to make up the difference.
The C's will lose if: They get killed on the boards. As much as they need to stop Wade, we know the drill by now. They can turn Wade into a jump shooter and force an 8-20 night… and have it all erased if one of Miami's forwards is turning the rim to his own personal jungle gym.
Wild Card: Ray Allen's head. We know what's been going on with his son. If he's got a clear head, then he might just be relaxed enough to let his game flow and go off. A great game from Ray almost always means an easy win for the C's. Luckily, this tweet from about 3:30 today makes it seem like Ray got some good news… and I'm going to guess it's not because he had money on the Colts.
Prediction: Celtics 101 – Miami 90
Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images