A little over a week ago, the Miami Heat were beaten down and embarrassed in front of a national audience. Redemption isn't that far away. The Boston Celtics couldn't have picked a better time to start playing their best basketball of the season. Finding their way through several months of inconsistency, the Celtics have surged their way into a familiar place; first place in the Atlantic Division.
Not only are the C's in first place, but they have opened up a nice big 3-game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks, who are currently tied with identical 29-27 records but are teams heading in different directions (the Knicks have won 7 of their last 10 while the Sixers have lost 7 of their last 10).
Whether or not the Celtics can continue playing at such a high level is yet to be seen, but you better believe that they are going to see a much different Miami Heat team then the one they dominated back on April 1st. That day Boston held the Heat to a season low 71 points on a season-worst 34.8% shooting from the field.
Defense is one area that the Celtics have been solid throughout the season, giving up an average of just 89.3 points per game. Lately they have been even better though, giving up a minuscule 81.7 points on just 37.9% shooting over their last nine contests. Not surprisingly, Boston has won seven of those nine games.
- Miami is 24-3 at home. Boston is 12-15 on the road.
- The Have have won their last two home meetings with the Celtics, though Boston has won 15 of the last 18 regular season games against Miami overall.
- The Celtics aging star Paul Pierce was named the NBA's Player of the Month for March.
- Pierce averaged 22.3 points, 5.6 boards and 3.6 steals during the month, as Boston won 12 of their 17 games.
- Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo recorded a triple-double (16-11-14) against the Heat on April 1st.
- Rondo has at least 10 assists in 17 consecutive games, the longest such streak in the NBA since John Stockton's streak of 29 straight games all the way back in 1992.
- Dwyane Wade, who missed Miami's win over Detroit on Sunday, said he will be back in the lineup tonight.
- Wade (ankle) is the only player on the Heat's injured list, as he is officially listed as probable.
- As for Boston, they will be without forward Mickael Pietrus (head) and center Jermaine O'Neal (wrist).
Tipoff from the AAA is set for 7pm. The game will be broadcast locally on Sun Sports and nationally on ESPN.