HHH Gametime Preview: Heat @ Celtics

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

It's a different feel going to Boston this year than it has in the past. Rajon Rondo is still holding down the fort as the Heat look for a third win in a row.

The Heat are coming off two victories, both hard fought. On Sunday, Miami beat the Houston Rockets to end a 5 out of 6 skid, and last night they held on over the Cleveland Cavaliers as LeBron James scored 43 points.

Now, the Heat (46-19) on the end of a back-to-back, are in Boston to take on the Celtics (22-46). And the Celtics are struggling. They have lost 5 in a row, and 13 out of their last 17. Jeff Green leads the way for them in scoring, averaging 17.0 PPG. Earlier this season, the Celtics won in Miami off of a Jeff Green buzzer beater from the corner three.

The Heat won their last matchup in January 93-86.

Rajon Rondo is averaging 8.8 APG in his first year without Paul Pierce at his side. The Celtics are certainly in rebuild mode, but they still put up a battle. Coach Brad Stevens tries to get the best out of his players. The Celtics are one of the worst offensive teams in the NBA, averaging only 95.4 PPG (27th).

Dwyane Wade sat out last night's game in Cleveland, but should be expected to play tonight. The availability of Greg Oden is uncertain. Oden has started the last two games, and was effective in Cleveland, but back-to-backs are also a bit of a struggle for Oden. Spoelstra said that if he is available, he will play.

James is averaging 30.1 points in 36 regular-season matchups with Boston, his highest versus one opponent. Wade's 20.7 points per game against the Celtics is his lowest average against any team.

The Heat are looking to gain some momentum as they will face a core of tougher opponents after this matchup. On Friday they will play Memphis, then in New Orleans on a back-to-back and then Portland and Indiana the next week.

The game starts at 7:30 at the TD Garden in Boston.


Eastern Standings

GP W-L PCT
Indiana Pacers 67 50-17 .746
Miami Heat 65 46-19 .708
Toronto Raptors 66 37-29 .561
Chicago Bulls 67 37-30 .552
Brooklyn Nets 65 34-31 .523
Washington Wizards 67 35-32 .522
Charlotte Bobcats 68 33-35 .485
Atlanta Hawks 66 31-35 .470
New York Knicks 67 27-40 .403
Cleveland Cavaliers 68 26-42 .382
Detroit Pistons 66 25-41 .379
Boston Celtics 68 22-46 .324
Orlando Magic 68 19-49 .279
Philadelphia 76ers 67 15-52 .224
Milwaukee Bucks 68 13-55 .191


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