Boston at Miami
7:30 P.M. ET
American Airlines Arena
Boston: 100.8 points/100 possessions (22nd)
Miami: 110.3 points/100 possessions (1st)
Boston: 100.1 points allowed/100 possessions (5th)
Miami: 100.4 points allowed/100 possessions (7th)
Probable Heat Starters:
Mario Chalmers (PG), Dwyane Wade (SG), Mike Miller (SF), LeBron James (PF), and Chris Bosh (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: Heat Index
Thumbnail: Hope you are ready for backups, backups and more backups from the Celtics on Friday night. As expected, Doc Rivers has elected to rest his stars. However, after Eric Spoelstra sat his big three on Wednesday in Washington, he is expected to have them start this home game against Boston. Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier will sit for the Heat, but obviously their absences will not have as much of an effect as the Celtics being without Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Not only will the Celtics’ roster be shallow, but the Celtics’ radio booth will also be without one of its main announcers. Cedric Maxwell will do the color commentating per usual, but Sean Grande is away calling the Frozen Four this weekend. Jon Meterparel takes on the play-by-play duties for the two games in Florida this weekend.
With your eyes and ears having to do some adjusting, the Celtics will hope to deal without their most significant offensive contributor and their most essential defensive player. The team understands that rest is much more important now with how the Eastern Conference standings are close to being finalized. Without their captain on the floor, the Celtics are approximately six points worse per 100 possessions on the offensive end. In addition, they are almost eight points worse per 100 defensive possessions when Garnett is not playing. For those reasons, Boston needs them to rest their sore left ankles and get ready to play heavy minutes in the postseason.
While the Celtics as a whole have struggled recently, Brandon Bass is showing signs of life down the stretch. He has scored double-double points in all five games in April, averaging 15 points per game and shooting 55 percent from the field with 1.6 blocks per game in that span. In comparison, in his 137 career games in green, Bass has averaged 10 points per game on 48-percent shooting with 0.8 blocks per game. He will need to continue to contribute for the Celtics to have a chance at advancing in the playoffs. Avery Bradley, Jason Terry and Courtney Lee will hope to follow suit in the remaining regular season games.
Prediction: The Celtics role players see extra action and take advantage as they put up a fight against the league’s best team.
Heat 102, Celtics 96
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