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GAME PREVIEW: Tatum, Celtics visit Heat

The Miami Heat will host the Boston Celtics as these teams have gotten off to different starts to the season.

Miami Heat v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images


The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics met in the Eastern Conference Finals just over a year ago. But now, after a complete season in between, the Heat and Celtics have started their seasons in very different ways.

Miami (6-1) is atop the NBA in most people’s eyes. They have a +16.7 scoring differential per game and have dominated defensively to begin the season. Meanwhile, the Celtics (3-5) have got off to a rough start, although they did pick up a win in Orlando last night after a dominant 3rd quarter.

Just a few days ago, Marcus Smart called out his two All-Star teammates to pass the ball more. WOJ reported that the Celtics had a players only meeting before their matchup with the Magic on Wednesday night. That seemed to give them enough of a spark to pick up a win, albeit against the Magic. There seems to be a bit of trouble happening over there.

The Celtics have the 4th highest-scoring offense in the young season so far, so how will that fare with the Heat’s second-rated defense? So far, Miami has come out on top in 6 of its 7 games.

The Celtics will give the Heat problems. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Marcus Smart will cause issues for the Heat. Brown and Tatum have traditionally played well against Miami, but that doesn’t equate to Boston victories.

Miami will have some work to do to hide Duncan Robinson on defense. They can move him to Marcus Smart and survive, but that would also force Kyle Lowry to defend Jaylen Brown (who is averaging 26.7 PPG).

The KEY MATCHUP is going to be Jayson Tatum vs Jimmy Butler. Tatum is a talented scorer and has burned Miami before with just isolation play. But Butler seems to be on his game defensively this year, and ready for any challenge. Butler will continue to work his aggression on offense and create problems on both ends.

Side Note: The Heat will debut their Miami Mashup jerseys and court design in this game.




  • Victor Oladipo - out (knee; surgery rehab)
  • Max Strus - out (knee sprain)
  • KZ Okpala - out (ankle)


  • N/A


Projected Starters

Clippers Position Heat
Clippers Position Heat
Reggie Jackson PG Kyle Lowry
Paul George SG Tyler Herro
Kawhi Leonard SF Jimmy Butler
Marcus Morris Sr. PF Caleb Martin
Ivica Zubac C Bam Adebayo


TV: Bally Sports Sun, NBATV
RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson, Ruth Riley Hunter)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!