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Game Preview: Miami Heat play the Bostons Celtics for 2nd game in a row on the road

Jimmy Butler is upgraded to questionable and is expected to play

NBA: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Game Story:

The 10-12 Miami Heat have yet another tough matchup tonight back in Boston against the rival 18-4 Boston Celtics. Miami lost their last game to this same Boston team, but with being undermanned while having a few key guys out they still made it a close and competitive game. Boston is the number 1 seed in the entire NBA, and to escape splitting the last 2 match ups 1-1 would be huge for the Heat.

Miami gets some reinforcements back tonight as star player Jimmy Butler is now upgraded from out to questionable. He has flew to Boston yesterday and seems ready to play:

The only other regular rotation piece whose status is up in the air is Dewayne Dedmon. He will most likely be a closer to game time decision, but him being available and having a pretty close to full roster against this stacked Boston team would be nice. Especially to give Bam Adebayo rest throughout the game, as Udonis Haslem got that back up big minutes the last game.

Haslem provided decent minutes, he even took a charge on Jaylen Brown, but there’s no question that Dedmon is better suited to give Adebayo more solid relief. Miami needs to play better defense tonight. Their offense was not the problem on Wednesday against the Celtics, as the Heat were able to keep up and find answers to all of Boston’s runs.

It was the defense that caused problems. Boston was able to get whatever they wanted at times. They got east buckets in transition, especially after a few missed lay ups from Miami. The Celtics will make you pay for any sort of mistake. There needs to be a better game plan for Jayson Tatum as well. Tatum exploded for 49 points the other night, and hopefully the Heat were able to watch some film and think of some way to at least slow him down a bit.

However, this night is going to be all about the potential return of Jimmy Butler. The return hasn’t been official yet, but all signs point to him playing. I’m sure all of Heat Nation remembers the last time Butler stepped foot into TD Garden.

It will be interesting to see if Butler’s return can fuel Miami, and how Butlers presence will impact Bam Adebayo’s offensive efficiency and dominance as of late.

Injury Report:

Heat

  • Tyler Herro, probable
  • Gabe Vincent, probable
  • Max Strus, probable
  • Duncan Robinson, probable
  • Haywood Highsmith, probable
  • Jimmy Butler, questionable
  • Dewayne Dedmon, questionable
  • Nikola Jovic, questionable
  • Victor Oladipo, out
  • Omer Yurtseven, out

Celtics

  • Robert Williams, out
  • Danilo Gallinari, out
  • JD Davison, out

Probable Starters:

Heat

  • Jimmy Butler
  • Max Strus
  • Bam Adebayo
  • Tyler Herro
  • Kyle Lowry

Celtics

  • Jaylen Brown
  • Jayson Tatum
  • Al Horford
  • Derrick White
  • Marcus Smart

ODDS (via FanDuel)

Check the odds out at FanDuel!

Broadcast Info:

Tipoff: 7:30 PM EST

TV: Bally Sports Sun (Eric Reid, John Crotty)

Radio: AM 560 Sports WQAM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)

Spanish Radio: WAQI 710 AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)