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PreHeat: Boston Celtics (6-2) at Miami Heat (5-3)

Quick notes:

  • One could charge Mr. Matt Winick, the man who creates the NBA schedule, for conspiracy to pit 4 of the first 9 Miami Heat (the team with the glaring deficit at point guard) games against teams with arguably the top 3 point guards in the league. Maybe the blame can be directed at the NBA, who employs Mr. Winick, for provoking the dramatic start to the Heat season in order to boost ratings and exposure. Or maybe we can stop being silly, step back, and look at the big picture. Lessons learned.
  • In the Heat’s losses so far, Rajon Rondo dropped 17 assists in the season debut, Chris Paul dished 19, and Deron Williams handed 14. There should be a sense of urgency in preventing the ease of these elites to stack dimes. How many will Rondo stack up tonight?
  • Miami has been dethroned by the Magic as the top defensively rated team in the NBA, likely from the 72 point second half bomb the Jazz dropped on Tuesday. Not to fear, the Heat are continuously progressing towards superior synergy. So far they have relied on athleticism to wreak havoc, produce turnovers and give an extra level of difficulty to opponent’s shot attempts. Proof: the Heat are leading the NBA in opponents true shooting percentage at 49.5%.
  • The Celtics lone two losses came at the hands of the Cavaliers one night after defeating the Heat in the season opener and the Mavericks in a close 2 point loss. They have come out victorious (in order) against the Knicks, Pistons, Bucks, Bulls, and Thunder. Impressive.
  • The O’neals are both ailing, Shaq with a right knee bruise and Jermaine with soreness on his left knee. If one can dress, the other might sit. If both sit out then Erden might start as Doc Rivers prefers to keep Big Baby’s role off the bench intact.
  • In the season debut, a match against a veteran chemistry laden champion was destined for failure from the start. Improbable apocalyptic measures took form against the Hornets and Jazz yielding heart breaking losses. Tonight, epic redemption is in play and the Heat could gain much needed emotional momentum if they succeed. This is why we love this game.

Probable lineups:

Celtics – Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Semih Erden

Heat – Carlos Arroyo, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Joel Anthony

When/Where: 8:00 PM EST, American Airlines Arena. Broadcast on Sun Sports and TNT.