I'm sure most of you, like me, have had this game circled on your calendar for a while now. The first rematch of the season against our growing Eastern Conference rival, the Boston Celtics. They have owned the Heat over the past few years, and that trend continued into Miami's ‘new era' when they beat Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and the rest of the Heat 88-80 on opening night a few weeks ago.
I'd expect the Heat to show up in a big way tonight. I'm sure they are plenty jacked up to play the Celtics again, but after the way they lost on Tuesday, these guys are pissed and looking to show the world they are better then what they showed in the 2nd half against Utah.
It was a pitiful defensive effort, something that has not been the case for the Heat this season. Call it a lack of focus or whatever you want, but you can bet that will not be the case against Boston tonight. In fact, the focus during Miami's practice on Wednesday was all about what their team needed to do right, not what they had to do to shut down the Celtics.
If Miami does what they are supposed to do, they should win every game...but I guess you can say that about most teams. Then again, most teams don't feature the star-studded roster that the Heat feature. I think D-Wade summed it up best:
"It hurts. It hurts to take time. No one wants to go through the process. But it's life. Everyone has to go through the process. No question, we understand that we're a very good defensive team. We understand that our offense is coming along. And sometimes you take those things for granted."
- Miami has lost 11 of their last 12 regular season games against Boston, as well as 4 of 5 in last years Playoffs.
- Both teams are coming off of tough losses; Miami to Utah and Boston in Dallas. Boston had won 5-straight before the loss.
- LeBron James is fresh off recording the 9th triple double in Heat history. He also became just the 4th Heat player to record 7 or more assists in at least four straight games.
- On the scoring end of things, D-Wade has led the Heat in points in their last 4 games.
- Boston is a little banged up on the inside, with centers Jermaine O'Neal (knee) and Shaquille O'Neal (shin) both listed as questionable. Kendrick Perkins remains out.
- For the Heat, just Mike Miller is out.
This game will be nationally televised on TNT, with a late tipoff coming at 8pm. It should be a good one, and I'm sure the AAA will be loud and crazy.