at Miami Heat (24-24) at Boston Celtics (30-16)
Wednesday, February 3
8:00 PM ET
Game #47, Home Game #22
ESPN, CSN HD, SunSpM, RTV
Radio: WEEI, WINZ
TD Garden ProbableStarting Matchups Point Guard
Rajon Rondo vs Rafer Alston Shooting Guard
Ray Allen vs Dwyane Wade Small Forward
Tony Allen vs Quintin Richardson Power Forward
Kevin Garnett vs Michael Beasley Center
Kendrick Perkins vs Jermaine O'Neal Reserves
Glen Davis Injuries
Marquis Daniels (thumb) out
JR Gidden (knee) out
Paul Pierce (foot) day to dayReserves
Dorell Wright Injuries
Mario Chalmers (thumb) questionable
Jermaine O'Neal (back) probable Team Connections
Bill Walker and Michael Beasley 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 NBA Draft
Dwyane Wade and Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers both attended Marquette
James Jones and Eddie House were teammates in Phoenix during the 2005-06 season
Jermaine O’Neal and Marquis Daniels were teammates in Indiana from 2006-08Key Matchups
Ray Allen vs Dwyane Wade
Wade is having a very good season averaging 27 ppg and 6.2 apg. It might be a good thing to cover Wade with a double the same way they covered Kobe. It would be nice to see Ray bust out of his slump in this game and put up some big numbers.
Kevin Garnett vs Michael Beasley
Beasley is a young and athletic and is capable of getting to the hoop if the defense gives him an opening and can also hit the jumper. Hopefully KG will be up and ready for this game as Beasley can be a handful to guard. Honorable Mention
Kendrick Perkins vs Jermaine O'Neal
This matchup may or may not materialize. O'Neal is listed in their starting lineup in their game notes, but he has been out with back spasms and may or may not return for this game. If O'Neal can't go, look for Joel Anthony to get the starting nod as he did on Monday against Milwaukee. Perk should be able to get inside and get some easy baskets against either player. Game Notes
• The Celtics are currently leading the season series 2-0; Celtics won the season series 3-1 against Miami in 2008-09
• Kevin Garnett netted 24 points in his one game against the Heat this season
• Dwyane Wade is averaging 35.5 points per game against the C’s this season
• The Celtics are 12-8 against Miami since the 2004-05 season
• The Celtics are leading the all-time series 50-35 with the Celtics 26-15 at home
After sustaining a foot/ankle injury in the game against the Wizards, Paul Pierce is questionable for this game. Speculation on the extent of the injury has gone from broken to minor. Celtics are expected to make an announcement on Wednesday regarding his injury and status. Regardless of the severity, I don't expect to see Pierce in this game. Tony should get the nod in his place.
KG looked much better in his last game and could be getting closer to having his timing and conditioning back. Without Pierce, the Celtics will definitely need KG to pick up his game a bit. It would also be a nice time for Ray to snap out of his slump.
The Heat are coming off a loss to the Bucks and have lost 2 in a row while the Celtics finally stopped their skid with a win over the Wizards. The Celtics are 13-8 at home and only 3-7 in their last 10 games while the Heat are 11-12 on the road and 5-5 in their last 10.
When these two teams last met KG was out, Pierce was playing in his first game back after the knee infection, House was out, Rondo was a game time decision with a sore hamstring, and Perk was fighting food poisoning and yet, in spite of all that, the Celtics beat the Heat in Miami 112-106. They certainly should be able to beat them at home, with or without Paul Pierce. UPDATE:
Paul Pierce has been diagnosed with a strained mid foot and is listed as day to day. He hasn't been ruled out for this game but my instinct is to let him sit it out. We should be able to beat them even without him. No use taking chances. Keys to the Game Defense
We saw in the last game that when the Celtics buckle down on defense, good things happen. They need to continue to make defense a priority. Rebound
The Celtics need to crash the boards to prevent the Heat from getting second chance baskets and also to be limit the fast break opportunities on missed baskets. The Celtics have to put out more effort to get rebounds in order to beat the better teams in the league.
Run the Offense
When the Celtics move the ball, make the extra pass and find the open man, the offense is on track. They have to avoid the do it myself mentality that they might be tempted to try with the key players out.
Play 48 Minutes
They have to come out strong and keep the pressure on throughout the game. The Heat will take advantage of any let up by the Celtics. X Factor
The Celtics must focus on both ends of the court. We have seen too many times where the team seems to lose their focus, especially on the defensive end. Hopefully the recent losses have been a wake up call for them to realize that they can't win games by playing with half effort.