Boston: 98.6 points/100 possessions (25th)
Miami: 106.7 points/100 possessions (2nd)
Boston: 95.3 points allowed/100 possessions (1st)
Miami: 97.3 points allowed/100 possessions (4th)
Probable Miami starters: Mario Chalmers (PG), Dwayne Wade (SG), LeBron James (SF), Chris Bosh (PF), Joel Anthony (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: The Heat Index
“There are some things that we saw in that game that we can correct.” -Dwyane Wade, re: April 1st
According to Wade, the Heat are thinking of the thumping of nine days ago as a learning experience. For example, they’ve learned not to let Rajon Rondo score double digits in three categories. Good luck: this game’s on ESPN.
But while containing Rondo is a worthy goal for the Heat, what they really need to focus on is scoring more than 72 points, because the Celtics have leaned particularly hard on their defense in recent weeks. Since the March 23rd loss against Philadelphia, Boston has only allowed an average of 81.6 points in nine games. That number’s also being dragged up by their highest opposing score: 95 points from the Bobcats in a game the Celtics won anyway.
If the team can muster up the defensive performance they did a week ago, with Garnett throwing a pillow over Chris Bosh’s face and Bradley sucking the life out of Dwyane Wade, the Heat will absolutely not win this game. I don’t think they can hold Boston to a score as low as they can be held to. But home-court advantage could make that difficult: the Heat are easier to deal with if they’re discouraged early, but they’re not easy to discourage at home.
Heat 89, Celtics 86. Does it help if I call it a reverse-jinx to bail myself out like Simmons?