Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat preview
There is something about that Miami – Boston match up that makes you excited. The intensity is always there, with a lot of all-star match ups.
The last time the two teams met was on April 1st, at Boston Garden. The Heat got blown out, with the final result being 72-91 in Boston’s favor. Rajon Rondo recorded a triple double, while all Boston starters scored in double figures. LeBron James assured the team would be ready this time:
“They beat us; they dominated us in that game. We should be better prepared tomorrow.”
With Jermaine O’Neal out, Celtics have had a lack of size in the paint, much like Miami. Even so, they have recently been rejuvenated by the great play of Rondo. Rondo has had 10 or more assists in 17 consecutive games, which is the longest such streak since John Stockton did so in 29 consecutive games, more than 20 years ago.
Having great individual defenders, Miami have the luxury of throwing different players Rondo’s way, in an attempt to slow him down. During yesterday’s practice LeBron James commented on possibly guarding Rondo:
“If that’s what it takes. If coach puts me on him, I’ll take the challenge.”
In the recent win over the Pistons, Dwyane Wade sat the game out with a sore ankle. He assured the media that he was feeling better, and should be ready to go in today’s game. He is aware of the threat that is Rondo, but doesn’t want to put all his focus on the great play of the Boston guard:
“He’s an engine. We have to try our best to make it tougher on him, but also make sure other guys don’t get off as well.”
And he may have a point. In their last 12 games the Celtics are 9-3, and in the last 10 Paul Pierce has been averaging 21.9 points a game, while shooting 47% from the field. Pierce is one of the craftiest players in the league, and will surely make the Miami defense work. Ray Allen is also back of an injury, coming off the bench for 27 minutes in their last blowout victory against the Philadelphia 76ers.