Celtics (24-8) at Heat (17-15)
Game time: 7:30pm, American Airlines Arena. TV – CSN. Radio – WEEI-AM (850).
Bos: Pierce – 18.2 Heat: Dwyane Wade – 26.4
Bos: Perkins – 8.0 Heat: Udonis Haslem – 7.4
Bos: Rondo – 9.6 Heat: Wade – 6.2
Who'll go off: Rajon Rondo. I don't expect the hamstring to hinder him much in this one, especially with the defensively challenged Carlos Arroyo guarding him. And if Jermaine O'Neal sits this one out, Rondo will have an even easier time getting to the rim.
Who needs to be stopped: Dwyane Wade. He's in a bit of a mini-slump (24 ppg over his last 5) and is turning the ball over at an alarming rate (19 TOs in a recent 3 game stretch).
The C's will lose if… they get sloppy. Pierce and Rondo haven't practiced in five days. Without KG, Eddie and possibly Perk, Doc will be mixing and matching his lineups. The Celtics will need to limit their turnovers.
Miscellaneous: Jermaine O’Neal missed Monday’s win over Atlanta with a strained right groin/hip flexor and is questionable for tonight. Kendrick Perkins is also questionable (food poisoning). Miami has lost 3 of the last 4. The Celtics won the first game of the season series in late November, 92-85. Michael Beasley is playing well offensively, but he's seeing limited minutes in crunch time due to his lack of defense.
Prediction: Celtics 99 – Heat 97
After the jump, the Miami Heat dancers.