at Boston Celtics (0‐1) at Miami Heat (1‐0)
Regular Season Game #2 – Road Game #2
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
8:00 pm ET
Radio: WEEI (850AM)
American Airlines ArenaProbable Starting Matchups Point Guard
Rajon Rondo vs Mario Chalmers Shooting Guard
Ray Allen vs Dwyane Wade
Sasha Pavlovic vs LeBron James
Kevin Garnett vs Chris Bosh
Jermaine O'Neal vs Joel Anthony Reserves
Paul Pierce (heel) day to day
Mickael Pietrus (knee) day to day Reserves
Mickell Gladness Injuries
Eddy Curry (hip) out
Mike Miller (hernia) out
Shane Battier (quad) day to day
Mario Chalmers and Paul Pierce both attended the University of Kansas
Doc Rivers and Dwyane Wade both attended Marquette University
Jermaine O’Neal played for the Heat during the end of the 2008‐09 season
and all of the 2009‐10 season
Chris Bosh and Jermaine O’Neal were teammates in Toronto during the 2008‐09 season
Dexter Pittman and Avery Bradley were teammates at the University of Texas
Sasha Pavlovic and LeBron James were teammates in Cleveland from 2004‐09
Keyon Dooling played for the Heat during the 2004‐05 season
Rajon Rondo vs Mario Chalmers
Rondo started the season aggressively. In the opener against the Knicks he scored 31 points, pulled down 5 rebounds and dished out 13 assists. Chalmers had 3 points 1 rebound and 4 assists in Miami's opener against Dallas. If Rondo continues to be aggressive, he should have another big game as Chalmers struggles to contain him.
Kevin Garnett vs Chris Bosh
Assuming that KG won't be suspended to going after Bill Walker after the Celtics' loss to the Knicks on Sunday, this could be another key matchup for the Celtics. Bosh has always been slightly intimidated by KG in the past and we can only hope that this continues because the Celtics will need every advantage they can get in this game.
Jermaine O'Neal vs Joel Anthony
Jermaine has been playing well and should have an advantage over Anthony on both ends of the court. The Celtics need JO to be aggressive and to dominate Anthony inside.
Brandon Bass vs Udonis Haslem
The battle of the power forwards off the bench may be a very good one. In the Celtics opener, Bass had 20 points and 11 rebounds in a very solid effort off the bench. Haslem had 9 points and 14 rebounds off Miami's bench on Sunday. This could be a fun battle to watch.
The Heat are coming off a blow out win over the defending champion Mavericks. With the news that Pierce hasn't run full court yet, I don't expect him to play and it could be a very long game watching Sasha trying to keep up with LeBron. Pietrus isn't expected to join the team until Friday. Even at full strength, the Celtics would have their hands full with the Heat, but short handed, it could be a very long night.
Add to the personnel problems the fact that this is the Heat's home opener, and the Celtics are facing a huge disadvantage in this one. The Celtics should have the added motivation to avenge their loss in last season's playoffs but the Heat will be looking to send a message to the league, and especially the Celtics, that they are the favorites this season.
Keys to the GameStart strong
- The Celtics must get off to a better start than they did against the Knicks. It takes too much out of them to play catch up most of the game.
Play 48 Minutes
- If they play well throughout the game, they have to be careful not to let up too soon. They must play hard right up until the final buzzer because it is certain that the Heat will. Rebound and Defend
- These are keys to every single game. The team that works harder on the boards and gets stops will be the team that gives themselves a good chance to win.