at Miami Heat (22-22) at Boston Celtics (28-18)
Monday, January 21, 2019
6:00 PM ET
Regular Season Game #47 Home Game #23
TV: NBCSB, FS Sun, NBA-LP 759(DTV)/751(xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 790 The Ticket
TD GardenProbable Starting Matchups
Kyrie Irving vs Justise Winslow
Marcus Smart vs Josh RichardsonSmall Forward
Jayson Tatum vs Rodney McGruderPower Forward
Marcus Morris vs James JohnsonCenter
Al Horford vs Hassan Whiteside Reserves
Aron Baynes Injuries
Jabari Bird (personal) out
Gordon Hayward (personal) probableTwo Way Players
Derrick Jones, Jr
Dion Waiters Injuries
Goran Dragic (knee) out Two Way Players
Duncan RobinsonHead Coach
Erik Spoelstra Game Notes
The Celtics host the heat for the 2nd of 4 games this season. When they last met on January 10, The Celtics were beginning a 3 game road trip. This game is the final game of a 4 game road trip for the Heat while the Celtics are beginning a 5 game home stand The Heat won that game 115-99, which began a 3 game losing streak for the Celtics.
Since those 3 losses, the Celtics have won 3 straight. The Heat are 2-2 since that game including losses to the Bucks and Pistons. They will meet again in Miami on April 3 and in Boston on April 1. The Heat won the series 2-1 last season. The Heat are 47-70 all time vs the Celtics and have won the last 3 meetings between these two teams.
The Celtics are still in 5th place in the East. They are 6 games behind the Raptors but just 1.5 games behind Philadelphia for 4th place. The Celtics are 7-3 in their last 10 games and they are 17-5 at home. The Heat are in 7th place, 5 games behind the Celtics and 1/2 game behind 6th place Brooklyn. They are 12-12 on the road and 5-5 in their last 10 games.
The Celtics are mostly healthy with Jabari Bird still out for personal reasons. Gordon Hayward missed Saturday's game against the Hawks due to the impending birth of his third child. He is probable for this game. Goran Dragic is out for the Heat with a knee injury. There is no news as of this posting as to Marcus Smart's availability for this game after his ejection from Saturday's game. Key Matchups
Marcus Smart vs Josh Richardson
I'm going to think positive and expect Marcus to play and cover the Heat's top scorer. Richardson is averaging 17.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists. He had 18 points and 6 assists in their last meeting. Marcus will need to play tough defense to keep Richardson from having a big game.
Al Horford vs Hassan Whiteside
Whiteside is averaging 12.5 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.42 blocks per game. Al will need to keep Whiteside away from the paint to limit his rebounds and blocks. The Celtics did not have Aron Baynes for the first meeting between these two teams and he should give them a boost in limiting Whiteside. Honorable Mention
Terry Rozier vs Dwyane Wade
This is expected to be Wade's final season. After the game in Miami, Wade and Rozier traded jerseys and Rozier admitted to being a big Wade fan. Rozier has picked up his game in the past few games and will likely be matched with his idol at times. Wade scored 19 points and led the Heat down the stretch in their last meeting and Rozier needs to slow him down in this one. Keys to the Game
Defense wins games. The Celtics are fifth in the league with a defensive rating of 105.0 while the Heat are right behind them at 6th with a defensive rating of 106.3. The Celtics need to make defense a priority as the Heat will be playing tough defense and if the Celtics can't limit the Heat's scoring in this one, it will be tough to get a win. Rebound
The Heat are averaging 46.9 rebounds per game while the Celtics are averaging 45.2 rebounds per game. The Heat are 3rd with 14.9 second chance points per game so beating them to rebounds will be very important. Rebounding takes effort and the Celtics will need extra effort in this one to win the rebounding battle. Be Aggressive
The Celtics have to be aggressive in going to the basket and not settle for jumpers, especially if the jumpers aren't falling. They have to dive for loose balls and be aggressive in crashing the boards. They can't afford to slack off or to allow the Heat to play harder than them. They have to be the team that wants it more.
Effort and Energy
- On Saturday they trailed one of the worst teams in the league most of the game because they didn't show much effort and the whole team lacked energy. Then Marcus gave them a spark and they finally played with energy and put out the effort on both ends, they pulled out the win. The Celtics have to play with energy from start to end to get a win in this one. X-Factors
- The Celtics are back at home after winning on the road to break their 3 game road losing streak. The Celtics have been playing well at home with a record of 17-5. They need to continue to draw energy from the home crowd. The Heat are on the final game of a 4 game road trip and should be road weary and the Celtics need to take advantage of that.
- The Celtics need to avenge their January 10th loss to the Heat. They also should remember back to the Heat ending their 16 game win streak last season. The Heat have won the last 3 games against the Celtics and it's time for the Celtics to end that streak and start a win streak of their own.
- Marcus Smart is the heart of this team and it goes without saying that if the league suspends him for his behavior against the Hawks, his presence will definitely be missed. On the other hand, his fire and energy will be needed in this game.