at Miami Heat (39-14) at Boston Celtics (38-14)
Sunday, February 13
1:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #53 – Home Game #29
TV: ABC, CHCH-TV
Radio: WEEI, WAXY, ESPNR
TD Garden Probable Starting MatchupsPoint Guard
Rajon Rondo 11.0 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 2.4 SPG
Mario Chalmers 6.4 PPG, 2.2 APG, 1.1 SPG Shooting Guard
Ray Allen 17.5 PPG, 2.9 APG, .459 3P%
Dwyane Wade 25.2 PPG, 4.4 APG, .313 3P%Small Forward
Paul Pierce 18.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.3 APG
LeBron James 26.4 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 7.3 APG Power Forward
Kevin Garnett 14.8 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 0.7 BPG
Chris Bosh 18.2 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 0.7 BPG Center
Kendrick Perkins 6.9 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 0.9 BPG
Zydrunas Ilgauskas 5.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 0.9 BPG Boston Bench Mob
Avery Bradley Injured
Delonte West (wrist) day to day
Shaquille O'Neal (knee) day to day
Semih Erden (abductor) day to day
Nate Robinson (knee) day to day
Jermaine O'Neal (knee) out
Marquis Daniels (spinal chord) out Miami's Reserves
James Jones Injuries
Udonis Haslem Team Connections
Mario Chalmers and Paul Pierce both attended the University of Kansas
Jamaal Magloire and Rajon Rondo both attended the University of Kentucky
Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers and Dwyane Wade both attended Marquette Univesity
Shaquille O’Neal played for the Miami Heat from 2004-08 and was a member of their 2006 NBA Championship team
Jermaine O’Neal played for the Heat during the end of the 2008-09 season and all of the 2009-10 season
Eddie House played for the Celtics from 2008-10 and was a member of the Celtics 2008 NBA Championship team
Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal were teammates in Toronto during the 2008-09 season
Shaquille O’Neal, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Delonte West and LeBron
James were teammates in Cleveland during the 2009-10 season
James, Ilgauskas and West were teammates in Cleveland from 2008-10
Dexter Pittman and Avery Bradley were teammates at the University of Texas.Key Matchups
Pretty much every matchup is key between these two teams. We start with their semi-big 3 against the Celtics real big 3.
Paul Pierce vs LeBron James
This is one of the better matchups in the league and these two have gone at each other in a lot of big games over their careers. In Miami, LeBron has been playing point forward and Pierce will have to guard him as he brings the ball up and tries to set up the offense. Hopefully Paul has been able to shake off the flu symptoms that plagued him before Thursday's game as he will need to be at his best to stay with LeBron.
Kevin Garnett vs Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh always seems to be intimidated by KG. I can't say as I blame him. Hopefully that trend continues in this game and KG has a big game and can also keep Bosh in check. KG played a little tentatively against the Lakers but that could be because he knew there were no back ups for him and he needed to stay out of foul trouble. With Semi and Shaq both day to day, that may be the case again in this game.
Ray Allen vs Dwyane Wade
Now that the excitement of breaking the 3 point record is behind him, Ray can get back to playing without that hanging over him. I think breaking the record took an emotional toll on him in the Lakers game but expect him to come out strong in this game. He will need to run Wade through the screens to get open and at the same time, will need to keep Wade from putting up big numbers as well.
Rajon Rondo vs Mario Chalmers
After beginning the season with Arroyo at the point the Heat have now moved Chalmers into the starting five. If Rondo is motivated, he should have little problem with either as neither is a defensive threat. On the other hand, Rondo has to defend Chalmers on the 3 point line as he loves to hit from there. Rondo has to be aggressive in this one. If he is tentative then the team will be as well. As Rondo goes, so go the Celtics.
Kendrick Perkins vs Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Ilgauskas has slowed quite a bit over the years but still can hit the mid range shot. He isn't big on battling in the paint and so Perk will need to guard him further out. Perk should be able to get inside on the offensive end and will need to convert if they get the ball inside to him.
Bench vs Bench
The Celtics bench is depleted from injuries and that took its toll in the Lakers game. Big Baby and Von Wafer must have big games and if Nate can't go, Avery is going to have to contribute as well. There has been talk of Delonte coming back to give 5-10 minutes in this game and Semih may be a possibility, but other than that, the Celtics are going to have to play with what they have. The Heat have Mike Miller and James Jones who are dangerous from the perimeter coming off their bench and whoever the Celtics have available will have to commit to defending them. Keys to the GameTake Care of the Ball
- The Celtics must limit their turnovers as the Heat will turn them into fast break points. Both Wade and LeBron can get quick points if the Celtics get careless with the ball. Rebound
- The Celtics have to limit the Heat's second chance baskets and fast breaks by crashing the boards. Unlike the Lakers, the Heat aren't very strong inside and so if the Celtics put out the effort, they should be able to control the boards. Defense
- The Heat are trying to make defense their calling card this season and have been doing a good job of it. The Celtics have to make defense their priority. With KG and Perk as the anchors on the defense, the Celtics should be able to out-defend the Heat but again, the key is effort.
Go to the Hoop
- When you go to the basket, good things happen. The Celtics have got to be aggressive in getting to the basket and not settle for jumpers. Move the Ball
- The Celtics must move the ball and run their offense to find the open man. If the ball gets stuck and players try to do too much, the offense stalls and they will struggle to score. When they run the offense and play unselfish Celtics basketball where they find the open man, they are tough to beat. X-Factor
I don't know who will or won't be available for this one. Shaq still may not be back until after the All Star break. Semih, and Nate are day to day. There has been talk of Delonte coming back but just for 5 or 10 minutes but depending on how practice goes, it may not be until Wednesday or even after the break. With just 9 players available, it makes it tough to play against a team at almost full strength.