Celtics (30-16) at Heat (24-24)
Game time: 8pm, TD Garden. TV – ESPN. Radio – WEEI-AM (850).
Bos: Pierce – 18.9 Heat: Dwyane Wade – 27.0
Bos: Perkins – 8.3 Heat: Udonis Haslem – 7.3
Bos: Rondo – 9.7 Heat: Wade – 6.2
Who'll go off: Rajon Rondo. He had 25 points (including an overtime inducing layup), 8 assists in the Celtics 112-106 OT victory vs Miami last month. If Rondo wants to be aggressive, there's no one on the Heat roster who can stop him (Rafer Alston?, Carlos Arroyo?).
Who needs to be stopped: Wade. He's averaging 35.5 ppg vs Boston this season.
The C's will lose if… Do
I really need to get into this? We all know the Celtics need to rebound
and play with defensive intensity for 48 minutes. Until that happens,
there's no point over-analyzing matchups, etc.
Miscellaneous: The Celtics are 2-0 vs Miami this season (112-106 OT on Jan. 6, 92-85 on Nov. 29). Paul Pierce (foot strain) is out. Mario Chalmers is out (sprained thumb) and Jermaine O'Neal is questionable (back spasms). Miami is coming off back-to-back losses to the Bucks.
Prediction: Celtics 107 – Heat 97