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Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« on: December 19, 2017, 10:50:35 PM »

Offline FLCeltsFan

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  at 
Miami Heat (15-15)  at  Boston Celtics (26-7)
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #34 Home Game #17
TV:  NBCSB, FS Sun, NBA-LP 754(DTV)/753(xfinity)
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 790 The Ticket
TD Garden



Probable Starting Matchups
Point Guard

vs
Kyrie Irving vs Goran Dragic

Shooting Guard

vs
Jaylen Brown vs Dion Waiters

Small Forward
vs
Jayson Tatum vs Josh Richardson

Power Forward
vs
Al Horford vs Kelly Olynyk

Center
vs
Aron Baynes vs Bam Adebayo

Reserves
Shane Larkin
Abdel Nader
Semi Ojeleye
Guerschon Yabusele
Terry Rozier
Marcus Smart
 
Injuries
Gordon Hayward (ankle)  out
Daniel Theis (nose)  out
Marcus Morris (knee)  out

Two Way Players
Kadeem Allen
Jabari Bird

Head Coach
Brad Stevens



Reserves
Wayne Ellington
Udonis Haslem
Tyler Johnson
AJ Hammons
Jordan Mickey

Injuries
Rodney McGruder (tibia) out
Okaro White (foot)  out 
Hassan Whiteside (knee)  out
James Johnson  (ankle)  out
Justise Winslow (knee)  doubtful
Goran Dragic (elbow) questionable

Two Way Players
Derrick Walton, Jr
Matt Williams, Jr

Coach
Erik Spoelstra

Game Notes
The Celtics return home after a successful 2 game road trip to host the Miami Heat.  This is the third and final game between these two teams this season.  The Celtics won 96-90 when they met on October 28 in Miami and they lost 104-98 when they again played in Miami on November 22.  This is the earliest that these two teams have ever wrapped up their series. 

The Celtics are looking for their third straight win.  They are 7-3 in their last 10 games and are 13-3 at home.  The Heat are 5-5 in their last 10 games and 9-8 on the road.  They are looking to get back on track after losing their last game to the Atlanta Hawks 110-104. 

The Heat have been hampered with injuries in recent games.  Hassan Whiteside is out once again with a sore knee.  He missed the Heat's loss in the first game but did play in their win in the second game.  James Johnson (ankle), Rodney McGruder (tibia), Okaro White (foot) are also out for this game.

Justise Winslow is listed as doubtful with an ankle injury.  Goran Dragic is listed as questionable with a sore elbow, but he has stated that he is going to try to play.  For the Celtics, Daniel Theis had his nose rebroken on Tuesday and is expected to miss this game.  Marcus Morris (knee) and Gordon Hayward (ankle) remain out. 

The Celtics are just 2.5 games up on the Cavaliers who continue to play very well in spite of their loss to the Bucks on Tuesday.  The Raptors are just 3.5 games back of the Celtics.  The Heat have slipped to 1 game out of playoff contention. With their series tied at 1 game each, this game will give bragging rights to the winner between these two rivals. 

Key Matchups
vs
Kyrie Irving vs Goran Dragic
Dragic is averaging 16.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. He scored 27 points in each of their last two meetings.   Kyrie will need to make him work for his points and also make him work on defense.  Dragic is listed as questionable with a sore elbow but he has said that he plans to try to play. 

vs
Jaylen Brown vs Dion Waiters 
 Waiters is averaging 14.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists and he is capable of having a big game if not kept in check.  Jaylen will need to defend him well and try not to get into foul trouble in this game as the Celtics need him out there.   

Honorable Mention
Al Horford vs Kelly Olynyk
Olynyk is averaging 9.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.  Al has had experience guarding Kelly in practice,  and vice versa.   Hopefully Al can can keep Kelly from having a big game from the perimeter and on the other end, make Kelly work on defense.   

Keys to the Game
Defense

Defense wins games. The Celtics still have the best defense in the league but they have let it slip in recent games, whether because of their brutal schedule or they just aren't working as hard.   The Celtics are still tops in the league allowing 98.5 points per game while the Heat are allowing 102.2 points per game.    The Celtics need to continue to make defense a priority and concentrate on keeping the Heat's offense off balance. 

Rebound
The Heat are averaging 41.0 rebounds per game while the Celtics are averaging 44.1 rebounds per game.  Crashing the boards will give the Celtics extra possessions as well as keeping the Heat from getting fast breaks and second chance points. As with the defense, the Celtics have been slipping on the boards recently.  Rebounding takes effort and the Celtics have to outwork the Heat on the boards. 

Be Aggressive
The Celtics have to be aggressive in going to the basket and not settle for jumpers, especially if the jumpers aren't falling.  They have to dive for loose balls and be aggressive in crashing the boards.  They can't afford to slack off or to allow the Heat to play harder than them. They have to be the team that wants it more. 

Play 48 Minutes
- The Celtics have been in the habit of playing well just half of the game.  They either  fall behind by double digits and then have to play extra hard to get back into the game or they get a big lead and then pretty much stop playing to allow their opponents back into the game (see Pacers, Indiana).  They need to play hard on both ends of the court from the opening tip to the final buzzer. 

X-Factors
Home Game
- The Celtics are back at home after two road games.    The Celtics  have been playing well at home with a record of 13-3.  They need to continue to draw energy from the home crowd and make it difficult for other teams to win at the Garden.   

Revenge Factor
-  There are revenge factors on both sides of this game.  The series is tied at 1 game each so the winner of this game wins the series.  Kelly Olynyk and Jordan Mickey will want to beat their former team and both teams will be motivated to avenge the earlier loss.  Also, the Heat win ended the Celtics 16 game win streak and they certainly will want to get back at the Heat for that. 

Fatigue Factor - The Celtics are in the midst of a very tough stretch of games.  This is their 8th game in 13 days with 5 of those games on the road.  They have had 2 sets of back to back games and two sets of 3 games in 4 nights.   This is yet again the first of back to back games.  The players have not had any chance to practice and they may be getting fatigued.  On the other hand,  both teams are missing key players with the Heat more short handed than the Celtics.  That puts extra work on the remaining players.  Fatigue may be a factor for both teams. 

Re: Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 10:51:14 PM »

Online tarheelsxxiii

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frist
"As far as playing, I didn't care who guarded me - red, yellow, black. I just didn't want a white guy guarding me, because it's disrespect to my game."
-Larry Bird

Re: Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2017, 10:51:16 PM »

Offline csfansince60s

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TP, FLCelts!!!

Great, comprehensive  game thread as usual!!

Time to lay a wuppin' on a team!!!

Go Cs!!!!!

Re: Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2017, 10:51:41 PM »

Offline celticslove

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TP FL! continue the streak! Let's go Cs!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 10:51:41 PM »

Offline FLCeltsFan

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TP to tarheelsxxiii, csfansince60s and celticslove for being the first to post in the game thread!!

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Celtics!!!!

Re: Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 11:06:51 PM »

Offline liam

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Go Celtics! This will be another hard fought game. When you are at the top you get the other teams best every night!

Re: Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2017, 11:36:50 PM »

Offline hwangjini_1

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Starting team!  Almost... ;D

Wowowowow I canít believe two teams will be wearing high heels for the game! Thanks for the heads up flc.  ;)

A. Tp for flcís. Unfailing sense of fashion....I wonder if she wears these herself? ???

Celtics win another game. Since the 16 game streak ended, the Celtics are 10 and 5. Pretty good!

Goooooooooooooooo Celtics!
I believe Gandhi is the only person who knew about real democracy ó not democracy as the right to go and buy what you want, but democracy as the responsibility to be accountable to everyone around you. Democracy begins with freedom from hunger, freedom from unemployment, freedom from fear, and freedom from hatred.
- Vandana Shiva

Re: Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2017, 11:56:03 PM »

Offline GreenEnvy

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First page... letís get revenge.
I AM A CELTIC

Re: Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2017, 12:04:18 AM »

Offline Somebody

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LET'S GO CELTICS!!!
****cago Bull****

Re: Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2017, 12:12:15 AM »

Offline Jiri Welsch

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8th!! We need this victory
Twitter: @ApocryphalTale

Re: Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2017, 06:43:41 AM »

Offline hodgy03038

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Go Celts. We need to capitalize with Whiteside out. Don't play down to the competition and Jaylen start practicing your free throws this morning.


I hate to lose more than I like to win
Larry Bird

Re: Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2017, 07:09:17 AM »

Online stes

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I really hope for a revenge win, but the Heat always seem to give us tough time. Let go Cís!

Re: Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2017, 07:55:04 AM »

Online Surferdad

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11th, always 11th, frist paige.

Re: Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2017, 07:55:57 AM »

Offline azzenfrost

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Do better vs KO and company.
I moved the cheese.

Re: Heat (15-15) at Celtics (26-7) Game #34 12/20/17
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2017, 07:59:29 AM »

Offline Celtics4ever

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Go Celtics!   Don't take them lightly!  We owe them bigtime for breaking the streak.