I AM NOT SOUTH BEACH: Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics preview

Miami Heat logo
Miami Heat logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It was a goddamn bar fight, a goddamn bar fight, man. It was a bar fight, Craig. Tonight was a bar fight, man. We knew they were going to come in with a lot of energy. Tonight was a bar fight. You ever been in a bar fight? Ask Charles [Barkley], he’s been in a bar fight. This is what it was tonight. We won in the second half. We came out with a lot of energy.”
— KG, after coming back down 27 points to win the Magic last season.

Expect a good ol’ bar fight tomorrow night. No chairs, no knuckle dusters, no bottles. Just two guys going at each other with fists, grit, and toughness. A BAR FIGHT!

Stat check: As if this hasn’t been repeated to death yet, the Heat have won 22 straight games, tying the Rockets’ 22 straight wins 5 years ago. Guess who snapped the streak? That’s right — THE CELTICS.

Game time: 19 March 2013, 1100hrs AEDT

Watch it on: NBA League Pass & ESPN

Roster changes:

  1. Rajon Rondo (ACL) and Jared Sullinger (back) are out for the season.
  2. Kevin Garnett is still questionable for tomorrow’s game. He has missed the game against Charlotte as well as today’s training session due to a left adductor strain.

Top enemy performers:

  1. Scoring: LeBron James (26.5)
  2. Rebounds:  LeBron James (8.2)
  3. Assists:  LeBron James (7.1)

Keys to the game:

  1. LeBron James. The Heat’s success is largely entirely owed to LeBron alone. Contain him, and we’ll figure out a way to clinch the game. There’s enough material on the net on how good LeBron is, so I shall not go into the details.
  2. No ****’in’ corner 3’s. The current Heat offense allows LeBron to draw defenders into the paint and kicks it out to the open man for an easy 3. The scary thing about the Heat’s closing lineup (James/Wade/Bosh/Allen/Battier) is that everyone can shoot the 3. Despite those options, Shane Battier is still the deadliest option — he is shooting at a career high 43.3% from beyond the arc because Spoelstra has given him the green light to camp at the line. The Celtics’ defensive schemes struggle to close out on baseline gunners because of the help defense/rotations that must be made. Obviously this doesn’t spell doom — it just means more work has to be done to pressure the shooter into a bad shot.
  3. No turnovers = no transition game. We’ve seen enough highlight reels to know what will happen if an opponent turns the ball over to the Heat. If the Celtics are able to bring their excellent ball movement back to the table, we’ll be able to keep the turnovers low.
  4. The Gangster Squad.  Green doing all kind of things that we never imagined 6 months ago, Terry being the anchor of the bench, Wilcox finding some grease in his step, Crawford gunning and passing, and our new guys from the CBA just adapting well to the environment. As the number of games dwindle down, we’ll need each and everyone of them to step up and contribute in whatever role they are tasked to do. I firmly believe that our success tomorrow lies in the hands of our bench, not the starters.

Enough said. LET’S GO CELTICS!!!!


P.S. Kein will be at the game to watch the bar fight live. Show your support for the C’s through Celtics Down Under’s Twitter handle! @CelticsDownUnd


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