With the Celtics and the Heat locked in a neck-and-neck battle for the 2nd seed, and the teams facing off today , we're focusing completely on what's going in Miami
Heat Index: Dwyane Wade hasn’t been his normal self against Boston. And really, that’s putting it lightly. How bad has Wade been? Statistically speaking, three of Wade’s four least productive games of the season have all come against Boston. He’s averaged 12.3 points on 26.7 percent shooting against the C’s. To steal a golden term from Kevin Arnovitz, that’s downright Arenasian. What’s the difference? “Last year, the ball went in the basket. This year, it hasn’t,” Wade said dryly after the Heat’s win over Charlotte on Friday night. “It’s simple. It’s a simple game.”
Miami Herald: “When I look at the shots that I had, the ones that I missed are what’s surprising,” Wade said. “I’ve missed layups, shots I can hit in my sleep. It’s not like they’ve done anything differently that I haven’t seen. I saw everything last year. I’ve had some bad games vs. Boston this year. That’s it. It doesn’t mean anything.”
Sun Sentinel: He has shot 12 of 45 and averaged just 12.3 points in three games against the Celtics, all losses. The numbers are sharp decline for Wade, who is shooting 50 percent from the field and is the league's third-leading scorer at 25.8 points a game. For Wade, the key is not letting it become a mental issue. That should be easy, considering Wade had so much success against Boston in last year's playoffs. The Celtics eliminated the Heat in five games in the first round, but Wade had his way. He averaged 33.2 points, including a franchise-record 46 in Game 4 that kept the Heat from being swept.
Heat Index: Having lost 14 of the past 15 games against the Celtics, including all three regular-season matchups this season, this hurdle for the Heat extends beyond the boundaries of a basketball court. It's about mental toughness and intestinal fortitude. It's about confidence and respect. It's about demons and monsters. “And we've got to slay that demon, so to speak,” said Heat swingman Mike Miller, who missed a wide-open 3-pointer that could have sent the previous meeting with Boston into overtime at the Garden.
Miami Herald: With the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed in the balance, the Heat plays the Celtics at AmericanAirlines Arena in a Sunday matinee matchup of two teams with like records and identical goals of entering the postseason with momentum. Potential home-court advantage for the second round of the playoffs is the prize, but, for the Heat, there is much more to be gained with a victory against the defending conference champion. For the Heat, Sunday is about winning confidence. “I think it’s real important to beat them,” Heat forward Chris Bosh said. “It shows us we can play against a top team in the East and we can get the job done.”
Sun Sentinel: Sunday the Heat says they're ready. They say they're different. They say they want to show where they stand, are motivated by the chance for the second seed in the East and their goal of a championship hasn't changed. "We think we've improved," Spoelstra says. So Sunday offers the last, best glimpse of the Heat's progress before everything matters in the playoffs. And if they've become who they think they are. And if they can win playing three-on-five in the NBA.