Miami @ Boston
8:30 PM EST
Boston: 97.1 points/100 possessions (10th)
Miami: 107.1 points/100 possessions (3rd)
Boston: 95.4 points allowed/100 possessions (3rd)
Miami: 95.5 points allowed/100 possessions (4th)
Key Injuries: Nothing new to report on this front.
Probable Miami Starters: Mario Chalmers (PG), Dwyane Wade (SG), LeBron James (SF), Shane Battier (PF), Ronny Turiaf (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: Heat Index
Thumbnail: The easiest path to moving on from an unpleasant memory is to alter the future and prevent history from repeating itself. As far as basketball games go, Game 2 was the most tragic experience Celtics fans have endured since the 2010 Finals. It was brutal—a swift kick to the gut. But a win tonight spins this series on its axis. For 48 hours, the pressure, the defensive fan base, and the strain of a loss shifts towards Miami. But one thing won’t be traveling south: the series.
In Game 2 the Celtics made a lot of shots they normally miss, and missed a lot of shots they normally make. Their bench was a timid disaster, and an argument can be made that apart from Rondo, not a single player performed up to their capable abilities. In Game 2, Boston showed Miami they’re capable of winning with no phony zone defense. They blitzed the pick and role mercilessly on every possession as if it were their last. They didn’t just hang with the Heat, they outplayed them. The contested Battier three-pointers and Udonis Haslem baseline jumpers are shots this defense can live with, and if the Heat continue to knock them down, so be it. But just as everyone is talking about how Rajon Rondo is incapable of repeating his historic performance in Game 3, I’d like to point out that there’s about a two percent chance Mario Chalmers ever plays that well again.
With atrocious transition defense that made it look like they had a 25 point lead with just a few minutes left in the game, the Celtics gifted the Heat with easy baskets that were crucial in deciding its outcome. Their half court defense was stupendous for 53 minutes, and breaking it down isn’t exactly something the Heat can bank on happening. They didn’t win Game 2 so much as they stole it, and a victory for the home team tonight snatches everything right back.
Prediction: The Boston Celtics win the game.