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Game 44: Heat (28-12) @ Celtics (20-23) Open Thread

 

It's just so hard to see Ray Allen in a different uniform

Miami at Boston
1:00 P.M. ET
TDGarden
ABC

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 99.8 points/100 possessions (T-23rd)
Miami: 109.6 points/100 possessions (2nd)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 99.8 points allowed/100 possessions (T-8th)
Miami: 101.8 points allowed/100 possessions (11th)

Probable Heat Starters:
Mario Chalmers (PG), Dwyane Wade (SG), LeBron James (SF), Udonis Haslem (PF), and Chris Bosh (C)

View From The Opposing Bench: The Heat Index

Thumbnail:  The Celtics are set to take on Miami Heat today and the timing could not be any worse.  After suffering their worst loss of the season on Friday night, they not only have to deal with the second most offensively potent team in the Association, but also the unending questions about Ray Allen’s return.  Make no mistake, the Celtics don’t care about Ray Allen’s return at all.  They care about getting a win.  They will take a win any way they can get it and don’t much care who they are playing.  Unfortunately, it is exactly who they are playing that makes getting a win so difficult.

The Heat losses, much like the Celtics, have been filled with lackluster effort and low percentage shot-making.  Unlike the Celtics, the Heat have been able to bounce back after tough losses.  In an attempt to aid the recovery, Doc Rivers is playing his last hand and has inserted Jared Sullinger into today’s starting lineup.  Here’ Doc explaining both the rational and the trepidation:

I completely share Doc’s concerns with respect to messing with the bench chemistry and Garnett’s minute’s rotation.  Sullinger and Garnett are the Celtics two best post players and playing them together is a calculated risk.  The reward, however, could be huge.  If the Celtics can take advantage of their superior size, they may be able to get a quick start against the Heat.  If that proves ineffective, the Celtics still have the horses to run with the Heat’s small lineup.  Running with the Heat is one thing but actually coming away with a win is entirely different.

This Celtics team was designed to be able to hang with the Heat in a 7 game series.  This design is good in theory, but has been awful in practice.  While the Heat have been able to smoothly integrate their offseason acquisitions, the Celtics have had half a season’s worth of failed attempts to integrate theirs.  It’s not hard to see why.  The Celtics are asking their role players to carry far more weight than the Heat do of theirs.

Prediction:  It’s going to get worse before it gets better.  Heat 100, Celtics 89

 

  • srle

    And apparently no rondo tonight…

    • jman

      And that's a bad thing?

  • srle

    apparently not :P

  • Albert

    Jeff did it again! :D

  • elroz

    Miami has gotten an offensive rebound at the end of regulation to tie it…they have gotten an offensive rebound twice in overtime to go ahead by 2 and by 4…offensive rebounds and two Pierce turnovers…deadly.

    • Phil725

      I'd argue that the deadliest late game breakdown was Pierce hanging back in the paint to guard against a Lebron drive with ~10 seconds left as Green got screened. The only problem was that Miami was down by 3. Lebron pulled up and hit the wide open 3. How is Pierce not ready to help in that scenario?

      The guys are playing their hearts out, they're just making tiny mistakes and missing open shots. They need to execute if they want to beat a team like Miami.

      • KillerGymRat

        I actually have to amend what I posted earlier and now defend PP after watching the highlights on that play. Pierce actually was forced to stay down in the paint to guard D-Wade after Lee crashed the boards and AB lost his man in the scramble for the lose ball.

        D-Wade wisely was creeping out toward the 3 point line, so Pierce had to respect that he might run out to take that shot. Once Miami grabbed the rebound AB got stuck out in no mans land double guarding Bosh while Lee scrambled around trying to find his man. By the time both recovered and PP got to release he couldn't close out in time.

        It was really Lee's screw up. He ran over to pick up Ray, but turned his back to the ball and never saw that a screen was being set. Then he compounded the problem by following Ray into the paint where it was actually safe to leave him to shoot…instead of running out hard to trap the screen roll.

        Really hard to blame anyone on that play though since they all crashed the ball as they should have and ball scrambles put holes in even the best defenses. And I would overreact too if I was guarding Ray Allen with the game on the line and lost sight of him.

        Kudos to Jeff Green who nearly blocked the shot.

  • I_Love_Green

    This one is definitely for Rondo today.

  • Phil725

    Whoa, two Jeff Green stops on Lebron on the same end of game play! (the first one was deflected back to Lebron.) I've pretty much laughed at the idea of Green being a go to guy defensively on Lebron, but he's made him work for everything tonight.

  • Phil725

    Great win. Down 3 with a minute left, they finally put everything together down the stretch of the game. They won because they were perfect when they had to be. Future projections are one thing, but I'm just happy with this win right now.

  • Switcharoo

    That was a nail biter for sure. Nice to see the score prediction was off by -2 points. We needed this win in more ways than I can count. Great job by Pierce too, triple double over the defending champs and taking LeBrons charges like a boss!

  • KillerGymRat

    I'm going to just enjoy this big win and praise the effort which was by far the best since the NYC win.

    Have to give a lot of credit to Terry who finally played a role and at the level I envisioned him contributing. And I have to say Jeff Green really brought it today and played well on both ends. Especially on the defensive end. He played LeBron as well as you can, and blocking Ray's shot was the highlight. I also loved Ray getting called for a charge and walking off the court with a loss.

    Barbosa was also a big plus and Sully's interior D and active hands in the passing lanes was just awesome.

    Tonight was proof that while this team may not have the most talent…when it really brings it…it's got the heart and ability to beat anyone. Even with refs missing some obvious calls against LeBron and D-Wade down the stretch.

    Sad about Rondo….but so happy to see this team get a big win.

  • yordgreat

    KG + JeT for Pau gasol. make it happen Danny!!!!

    • CelticsBIG3

      That has to be the stupidest trade I've ever heard of. Is yordgreat Chris Broussard in disguise?

      • KillerGymRat

        Clearly yordgreat is a Laker fan.

        And somewhere a Leprechaun died thanks to that insane trade comment.

  • Switcharoo

    KG+Jet for Pau? Ewwwww? That’s just wrong.

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