Tip: 8PM Court: TD Garden Watch it: ESPN Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Scott Foster, Matt Boland and David Guthrie
Spread: MIA -5.0
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The season series is 1-1. The Celtics needed an all-around team effort to beat Miami 100-98 in double-overtime on Jan. 27. This was the day we learned Rajon Rondo tore his ACL. The Heat beat the Celtics 120-107 in the season opener. With LeBron James, Miami is 0-5 in Boston during the regular season.
Get it to: Paul Pierce
As if Paul Pierce didn’t already have enough on his plate tonight (guarding LBJ, playing point forward, be the team’s top scoring threat), he’ll have to do even more if Kevin Garnett sits out. Despite the 38% shooting vs Miami this season, Pierce’s all around numbers are superb: 20 ppg, 9 rpg, 7.5 apg. We might need an epic triple-double effort from the Truth in this one.
Gotta stop: Dwyane Wade
Wade has really turned it on over the last two months. He’s averaging 23 ppg on 53% shooting in February and March. On the bright side, he’s shooting at a 38% clip vs Boston this season AND he’ll have to deal with a fully healthy and in-sync Avery Bradley. As I do with most games vs Miami, I believe the Celtics should try to limit everyone not named LeBron because that’s rather impossible.
I feel like we NEED a huge game from JET. Terry needs to outscore Ray Allen and the other Heat perimeter role players to give the Celtics their best chance. When Terry’s hot, he’s emotional and the crowd feeds off him and his antics.
How we see it goin’ down
My heart really wants me to pick the Celtics, with or without Kevin Garnett. One could argue the Heat are dealing with mental (heavy burden of a 22-game winning streak) and physical (2nd night road back-to-back and 3rd game in 4 nights) fatigue. It’s possible they could overlook the Celtics knowing our defensive jedi warrior is sitting on his couch instead of patrolling the lane. Wouldn’t we all love to see the Heat come out flat and get jacked up by the Celtics in a turbo-charged TD Garden?
I just can’t do it.
Prediction w/o Garnett:
Prediction w/ Garnett: