at Boston Celtics (46-32) at Miami Heat (38-39)
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #79, Road Game #39
TV: NBA-TV, NBCSB, FSSun
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 790 The Ticket
American Airlines ArenaProbable Starting Matchups
Kyrie Irving vs Goran Dragic
Marcus Smart vs Dion Waiters Small Forward
Jayson Tatum vs James JohnsonPower Forward
Al Horford vs Kelly OlynykCenter
Aron Baynes vs Bam AdebayoReserves
Terry Rozier Injuries
Al Horford (knee) probable
Jaylen Brown (back) out
Marcus Morris (knee) outTwo Way Players
Hassan Whiteside Injuries
Rodney McGruder (knee) questionable
Josh Richardson (heel) questionable
Justise Winslow (thigh) questionable
Derrick Jones, Jr (knee) outTwo Way Players
Duncan RobinsonHead Coach
Erik Spoelstra Game Notes
For the second time in 3 days, the Celtics will face off with the Miami Heat. This is the 4th and final regular season meeting between them. The Celtics won both games played at the TD Garden, including Monday's 110-105 win. The Heat won the game they played in Miami 115-99.
The results on Monday didn't change the standings as both Boston and Indiana won and Detroit, Orlando and Brooklyn all lost along with Miami so the incredibly tight standings remain incredibly tight and no one gained or lost any ground. On Wednesday, there is a lot at stake with the Pacers at Pistons, Knicks at Orlando, Raptors at Nets, and Celtics at Heat.
The Celtics remain in 4th place, tied with Indiana, but holding the tie breaker. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games and 18-20 on the road. The Heat are still in 8th place, half a game behind 7th place Brooklyn, 1 behind 6th place Detroit and half a game ahead of 9th place Orlando. They are 6-4 in their last 10 games. The Heat are actually better on the road (20-18) than they are at home (18-21).
Derrick Jones, Jr left Monday's game with a knee injury and is out for this game. I'm guessing that James Johnson will get the start in his place. Rodney McGruder (knee) has missed the last 8 games and is questionable for this game. Josh Richardson (heel) was expected to miss the rest of the season but with their playoff hopes on the line, they may rush him back and he is also questionable.
Justise Winslow (thigh) hasn't played since March 15 and they are hopefully he may return for this game. He is also questionable for this game. If he can't play, Goran Dragic will likely start at the point once again. The Celtics haven't mentioned resting anyone as of now but with some injuries already, I'm not sure they can afford to rest anyone.
Jaylen Brown missed Monday night's game against the heat and is out for this game as well. Marcus Morris joins him on the injury report as out with a sore knee. Al Horford remains probable, also with a sore knee. Miami's players remain a game time decision as to whether they will play or not. Key Matchups
Kyrie Irving vs Goran Dragic
Goran Dragic missed the first two games between these two teams. He is averaging 14.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists. He had 30 points, 5 assists and 5 steals in Monday's game. If Winslow can play, he will likely get the start here. The Celtics have to do a better job of guarding Dragic if he does start.
Aron Baynes vs Bam Adebayo
Adebayo is averaging 8.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game this season. However, he put up 19 points, 14 rebounds, including 4 offensive rebounds, and 2 blocks on Monday. The Celtics need to do a better job of boxing him out and keeping him off the glass as well as keeping him out of the paint for second chance baskets. He also hit a 3 to end the game on Monday so the Celtics may want to keep an eye on him out there. Honorable Mention
Terry Rozier vs Dwyane Wade
Rozier will likely be matched up with Wade off the bench once again. Wade scored 19 in the first game vs Boston this season and 8 in the second. In Monday's game he had 17 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal. He is averaging 19.7 points against Boston over his career. He is averaging 14.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game and is still capable of having a big game if not well defended.Keys to the Game
- Defense is always a key to winning. The Celtics and the Heat are tied at 6th with a defensive rating of 107.1. The Celtics allow 108.1 points per game while the Heat allow just 105.6 points per game. 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 46.3 rebounds per game while the Celtics are averaging 44.5 rebounds per game. The Heat are 6th with 14.3 second chance points per game so beating them to rebounds will be very important. In Monday's game, the Celtics had 49 rebounds to 48 for the Heat. Rebounding takes effort and the Celtics will need extra effort once again to win the rebounding battle. Be Aggressive
- The Celtics have to be aggressive in going to the basket and not settle for outside shots, especially if the outside shots 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.Play 48 Minutes
- Once again on Monday, the Celtics built a big lead and then once again they let the heat come back and cut it to 3 before pulling out the win. The Celtics simply must start off strong and then play hard the entire game. They can't keep letting opponents go on long runs. They have to be more consistent and play hard the entire 48 minutes with no let up. Move the Ball
- The Celtics are 2-7 when they have 19 or fewer assists. They need to move the ball and find the open man for the best shots available. When they dribble too much or try to play hero ball, things don't often end well. On the other hand, when they share the ball and make the extra pass, good things happen. Often when they build a big lead it's because they have had good ball movement and play team ball. When they hit offensive droughts, it's often because they go away from what works and play hero ball. X-Factors
- The Celtics are on the road and have struggled at times when away from home. They have to block out the hostile crowd and they have to focus on playing the game and not allow the distractions of playing on the road take their minds off the game. Seeding Motivation
- Both teams have a great deal at stake in this one. Indiana is playing Detroit and the Celtics can't depend on them to lose that one and so need to win this game to hold onto home court in the first round of the playoffs. The Heat are playing just to make the playoffs. With Orlando hosting the Knicks, the Heat pretty much have to win this game to remain in the final playoff spot. Which team will be more motivated?