Tip: 7:00 PM Court: American Airlines Arena Watch it: ESPN Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Scott Foster, David Jones, Michael Smith
The Celtics embarrassed the Heat 91-72 a week and a half ago thanks to a Rajon Rondo 16 point, 11 rebound, 14 assist triple double. Paul Pierce had 23 and Avery Bradley had 13 points and 2 steals.
Get it to: Rajon Rondo
Let's look beyond the national TV thing for Rondo's success against Miami. The Heat (a) have no one who can stop him and (b) with Bass, KG, and Pierce spacing the floor, Rondo's got lanes to the basket.
Fun stat I tweeted yesterday: Celtics have scored 5123 points this season. Rondo has assisted on 1131 points and scored 557 himself. The combined 1688 equals more than 1/3 of C's offense.
Gotta stop: Dwyane Wade
Pick your poison. One of these guys will go off, so if you can slow one down, then you're off to a good start. I picked Wade because he's going to be PISSED that some young punk named Avery got credit for shutting him down. Pissed off Wade can bring pain. This will be Bradley's toughest test of his career.
The Wild Card: Avery Bradley
Will the Heat let Bradley slice them up with backdoor cuts again? And if they focus too much on him, will that just open things up for other guys? Will the Heat make any adjustments, or will they, pardon the pun, get burned again?
How we see it goin' down
I have been going back and forth on this for a while in my head. The Celtics are playing great, and they're a different team than they were even a few weeks ago. But the Miami Heat are home, where they are virtually unbeatable… and they are pissed about the nationally televised beat-down the Celtics laid on them.
This will be a battle (or bar fight, if you will). This will be a tough, Rocky vs. Apollo Creed type of bloody war. The Celtics will leave the Heat bloodied and bruised, begging for there not to be a rematch. Apollo Creed won that fight, just like Miami is going to win this game, 91-89.