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Game Preview: Celtics, Danny Ainge gets first look at Justise Winslow, Heat

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Danny Ainge tried desperately to get Justise Winslow at the NBA Draft from the Miami Heat. Pat Riley said no. Now the Celtics are playing the Heat for the first time this season.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Ainge wanted him bad. Reports had the Celtics offering up to four first round picks in exchange for the Heat's #10 pick once it became clear the Justise Winslow would be available.

Pat Riley decided Winslow was just who he wanted, and we're glad to have him. Now, Ainge, GM, and the Celtics will visit the Heat for their first look at the rookie this season on Monday night.

Details:
Boston Celtics (9-8) @ Miami Heat (10-5)
7:30 PM EST @ AmericanAirlines Arena
TV: Fox Sports Heat, LP / Radio: 790 the Ticket

Probable Starters
Isaiah Thomas PG Goran Dragic
Avery Bradley SG Dwyane Wade
Jae Crowder SF Gerald Green
Amir Johnson PF Chris Bosh
Jared Sullinger C Hassan Whiteside

Injury Report:
Boston -- Marcus Smart (leg), OUT
Miami -- Luol Deng (hamstring), doubtful; Amare Stoudemire (illness), doubtful

GAME PREVIEW
Isaiah Thomas just wanted to be wanted. Well, he's doing just fine in Boston leading the Celtics in scoring at 21.2 PPG. And guess what? He's a small, quick and offensive minded point guard that Goran Dragic is going to have to figure out how to guard, stop and defend. It's going to be a challenge.

But...there's a glaring favorable matchup for the Heat and it's with their outstanding shot blocking center, Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside will be matched up against 6'9 Jared Sullinger and a thin pair of backups. I am anticipating a really, really big game from Hassan. He should be very active on the offensive glass, and get plenty of chances to score.

The Heat will be without Luol Deng, most likely, again and so should expect more minutes for Justise Winslow. As mentioned, this would be a great chance for the Heat to rub it in the Celtics face. Instead of Winslow, the Celtics took Terry Rozier in the first round. He averages 1.6 PPG and 7.1 minutes per game.

Hey, if Gerald Green can play like he did in New York, the Heat should be just fine without Deng. Green had 25 points in the start on Friday.

The Celtics and the Heat used to be a strong rivalry, but now it isn't much. Still, Brad Stevens will have his team playing good team basketball and the Heat will have to come out with a great effort to keep them from stealing one in Miami.

Make sure you come back and join us for our GameThread.

UPDATE (11:30 AM EST)

The Miami Heat have ruled Amare Stoudemire and Luol Deng OUT for tonight's game. They have also listed Chris Bosh as a game-time decision.