Miami Heat (10-23) @ Boston Celtics (19-14)
Friday, December 30, 7:30 PM EST in Boston, MA
TV: Fox Sports FL, NBALP // Radio: 790 the Ticket
The Celtics are a difficult team for the Heat to play because they are a fundamental and balanced team. Isaiah Thomas leads the way for them, but coach Brad Stevens always has them ready to play and respect Miami.
For the Heat, the key for them will be guarding the pick-and-roll of Isaiah Thomas. What they will likely do is involve Hassan Whiteside in many of those and force him to play the perimeter or make a switch. The Celtic bigs can all make shots — Al Horford, Kelly Olynyk, Jonas Jarebko, Tyler Zeller — each of them can put the ball on the floor and space the floor. How Miami defends that will dictate the flow of the game.
On the other side of the ball, the Heat have to take advantage of Goran Dragic’s size advantage of Thomas. This doesn’t often happen, but if they let him do as he wants, he can create more offense against a defense that is stifling at home.
Before they got here....
The Heat lost in Charlotte to the Hornets 82-91. They have lost 6 of their last 7 games. The Celtics just lost in Cleveland, but before that they had won 6 of 7 games. These are two teams on two different paths.
Miami: Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Derrick Williams, Hassan Whiteside
Boston: Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Al Horford
Tune back in at game time to watch it live and then chat about it here on our GameThread.