at Boston Celtics (49-15) at Miami Heat (33-29)
Wednesday, March 11
7:30 PM ET
Game #65, Road Game #33
SunSports HD, CSN HD, NBA LP 755
American Airlines Arena Although the Miami Heat has only existed for two decades they have already called two arenas home. The expansion Miami Heat began playing at the Miami Arena in 1988-1989 during their inaugural year. For over a decade they played here along with the Florida Panthers (NHL). With a seating capacity of just over 16,000 both the Heat and Panthers wanted new modern facilities to play at.
In 1996, voters approved a bond for the construction of a new arena for the Heat. At a cost of $213 million, the Heat contributed $50 million to the project while hotel taxes were increased to fund the project. American Airlines purchased the naming rights for $42 million over 20 years to have the arena named after their company.
American Airlines Arena was constructed along Biscayne Bay in downtown Miami. The Miami Heat played their first game at the arena on January 2, 2000. From the exterior American Airlines Arena features a sleek modern design. This design is also found inside where views of the city skyline and bay can been seen from the concourse. Nearly 20,000 fans can watch the Heat play from three levels of seats that enclose the court. The arena has five configurations that can be arranged to see 5,000 to 20,000
fans.ProbableStarting Matchups Point Guard
Eddie House vs Mario Chalmers (Just a guess that Doc will start Eddie after his admission that starting Marbury was the wrong choice against the Magic. But then again, who can tell with Doc? He very well may start Marbury or take a chance on Pruitt) Shooting Guard
Ray Allen vs Dwyane Wade Small Forward
Paul Pierce vs Jamario Moon Power Forward
Leon Powe vs Udonis Haslem (We are quickly running out of big bodies. With the injury to Big Baby, it seems that Leon is the most likely to move into the starting lineup.)Center
Kendrick Perkins vs Jermaine O'Neal Coach: Doc Rivers
Average Age: 26.8
Average Height: 6-6
Average Weight: 222Reserves
Tony Allen (thumb) out
Kevin Garnett (knee) out
Brian Scalabrine (head) out
Rajon Rondo (ankle) out
Glen Davis (ankle) outCoach: Erik Spoelstra
Average Age: 26.2
Average Height: 6-7
Average Weight: 222Reserves
Luther Head Injuries
None Team Connections
Mark Blount is a former Celtic (even though most Celtics' fans would rather forget that fact)
Michael Beasley and Bill Walker were teammates at Kansas State
Mario Chalmers and Paul Pierce are former Kansas Jayhawks
Jamaal Magloire and Rajon Rondo are former Kentucky Wildcats
Eddie House was originally drafted by the Heat with the 37th pick in the 2000 draft. Key Matchups
Ray Allen PPG 18.4 RPG 3.50 APG 2.8 EFF + 17.27
Dwyane Wade PPG 29.4 RPG 5.10 APG 7.6 EFF + 28.97
Wade has been at the top of the MVP candidates list and has been playing great basketball. He will definitely make Ray work on the defensive end and thius limit Ray's energy on the offensive end.
Kendrick Perkins PPG 8.1 RPG 8.10 APG 1.2 EFF + 13.97
Jermaine O'Neal PPG 13.3 RPG 6.80 APG 1.7 EFF + 15.49
O'Neal likes to shoot from the perimeter and is a tough cover for Perk, but at the same time, Perk should get some easy baskets inside with JO covering him. Honorable Mention
Eddie House PPG 8.0 RPG 1.90 APG 1.1 EFF + 7.35
Mario Chalmers PPG 9.8 RPG 2.60 APG 4.6 EFF + 11.71
With Rondo out, Eddie will have to figure out how to get the Celtics into their offense as well as try to keep Chalmers from getting the Heat into theirs. Game Notes
This is the second of 4 meetings between these 2 teams this season. The Celtics won the first game in Miami 98-83 in January. They will meet in Boston on 3/18 and 4/10.
The Heat are 21-11 at home while the Celtics are 23-9 on the road. The Heat are 20-16 vs Eastern Conference teams while the Celtics are 33-6 vs Eastern foes.
Miami is 9-0 when the shoot 50% or more from the field, so defense will be important if the Celtics hope to get the victory. Wade and Chalmers have combined for252 steals this season, which is first in the NBAfor backcourt duos. The Celtics have to take care of the ball or the Heat will make them pay for it. X-Factor
The Heat are at full force and the Celtics have been hit hard by injuries. The remaining healthy Celtics will each have to put forth a very strong effort in order for the Celtics to have a chance in this one.