Miami at Boston
1:00 P.M. ET
Boston: 99.8 points/100 possessions (T-23rd)
Miami: 109.6 points/100 possessions (2nd)
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