Tip: 7:30PM Court: AmericanAirlines Arena Watch it: CSNN Hear it: WEEI
Referees: James Capers, Mark Lindsay and Sean Wright
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The Heat hold a 2-1 advantage on the season series. They also seem to have an effect on the Celtics play.
Following a thrilling, double-overtime 100-98 victory on Jan. 27, Boston ran off a 15-6 record until the next meeting with Miami. On that March 18 game, the Heat stormed back from 17 down to capture a 105-103 win. Since then, the Celtics are 4-9.
But don’t expect similar dramatics tonight, with both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett sitting this one out. It’s also very likely that LeBron James, Chris Bosh or both will also be on the sidelines.
Get it to: Brandon Bass
Bass is having a fantastic stretch lately. He’s scored in double-digits in five straight games now.
Over that span, Bass is averaging 14.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He’s also shooting 55.2 percent from the field, while averaging 11.6 field-goal attempts per game—a significant increase over his 7.2 season average.
Lately, Bass is displaying more confidence on the court. He’s stepped up on both sides of the floor when Boston has needed him.
Hopefully, this streak can transform into an every-day occurrence come playoff time.
Gotta stop: Dwyane Wade
Wade will be returning to the lineup after missing the last 6 games for Miami with an ankle injury.
Although he may not receive a whole lot of minutes, there’s a very strong chance that the Heat might rest James and Bosh for this game—both are game-time decisions. If that’s the case, Wade will be the go-to-guy whenever he’s on the floor. That’s never a good thing for the opposition.
The Celtics will need to limit Wade’s effectiveness when he’s on the court to get the win tonight.
Green was arguably Boston’s hottest player over the last month. He averaged close to 20 points a night, while carrying the team in the fourth quarter.
However, he might be on the verge of being snuffed out.
Over the last two games, Green has put in performances of just 11 and eight points. He’s also missed 18 of the 25 shots he’s attempted. It’s a far fall from grace from the 17.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game Green was averaging during March.
Last time out against Heat, he dropped 43 points. Hopefully, this will be the spark he needs to get going again.
The Celtics need a productive Green in the postseason.
How we see it goin’ down
Well, this certainly wasn’t the matchup we all thought this would be. Instead, it has a feeling more similar to that of a preseason NFL game.
Boston will be without its two stars and that has spelt out doom for the team lately—0-3 without Pierce. And while Miami might be resting players too, the team has still played well without them. Plus, did we mention that the Heat have only lost 4 games all year at home? As if playing on the road could get any harder for the Celtics.
Don’t see Boston staying in this one.