GAME PREVIEW: Heat face tough matchup against rival Boston Celtics amid 4 game losing streak

Caleb Martin is coming off a strong bench performance last night with 15 & 4 on 50% shooting; he now gets a chance to show out against the team that he schooled in the ECF in the Boston Celtics.

Game story:

On the second night of a back-to-back, the Miami Heat will welcome the rival Boston Celtics to the Kaseya Center in an Eastern Conference Finals rematch. The game tonight will be nationally televised on TNT.

Miami heads into the matchup going through their roughest stretch of the entire season, dropping four games in a row and a 4-6 record over their last ten.

The Boston Celtics are the top team in the standings throughout both conferences, sporting an elite 34-10 record.

The Heat are now 24-20 and are going through some serious team-wide offensive issues. All of their shooting efficiency numbers have gone way down compared to the first couple months of the season during this stretch.

Every possession is seeming like a grind.

Which is tough to make sense, considering Miami has four 20+ PPG scorers now in Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and newly acquired Terry Rozier. They also have three guys averaging over 10.0 PPG  in Duncan Robinson, Caleb Martin and Jaime Jaquez Jr.

Although, Jaquez Jr. has missed a decent amount of games recently and is still listed as out for tonight’s marquee matchup with that groin injury. This will be his 5th missed game in a row.

Kevin Love also left last night’s game early due to a stomach illness and is listed as Questionable heading into tonight.

The most plausible reason for these offensive issues is simply the chemistry and comfortability. The ‘big three’ of Butler, Adebayo and Herro have played around just 10 games together all season long due to injuries.

Adding a score-first new PG in Rozier also adds onto that.

Rozier played off the bench in his Heat debut last night and registered 9 PTS, 5 RBS, 4 ASTS and 2 STLS in 29 minutes.

Do not expect Rozier to be in a bench role moving forward, as several Heat sources and insiders made it clear that last night could have been a one time thing with Rozier getting bench minutes.

Rozier hasn’t even been in Miami a full 24 hours prior to last night’s tip off. Being the orchestrator to the offense as a PG and learning new plays and schemes could be a lot, so Coach Spoelstra opted to do it the right way by easing him into the rotation on his first night.

It was reported that Rozier is likely going to be in the starting unit for tonight’s game against his former Boston squad.

As most Heat fans already know, the Celtics can very much be a serious problem.

Jayson Tatum is putting together an MVP caliber season once again, along with their super strong core of Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and newcomers Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday.

Tatum and Brown are always going to be on Miami’s scouting report no matter what, but White especially has had some of his best career performances against the Miami Heat.

It will be crucial in trying to limit him offensively and will be a big test for Tyler Herro on the defensive end.

Injury Report (at the time of this publishing):

Miami Heat:

  • Kevin Love (illness) — Questionable
  • Jaime Jaquez Jr. (groin) — OUT
  • Dru Smith (knee) — OUT

Boston Celtics:

  • JD Davison (g league) — OUT
  • Drew Peterson (g league) — OUT

Projected Starting 5 (subject to change):

Miami Heat:

  • Terry Rozier, G
  • Tyler Herro, G
  • Jimmy Butler, F
  • Haywood Highsmith, F
  • Bam Adebayo, C

Boston Celtics:

  • Jrue Holiday, G
  • Derrick White, G
  • Jaylen Brown, F/G
  • Jayson Tatum, F
  • Kristaps Porzingis, C

Betting Lines:

  • Check the current odds out at FanDuel!

Broadcast Info:

  • Tipoff: 7:30 PM EST
  • TV: TNT
  • Radio: AM 560 Sports WQAM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)
  • Spanish Radio: WAQI 710 AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)

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

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ManilaHeat

We might get crushed by the powerful Celts lol. Or not. Go Heat!

Alien

The statistics don’t favor the Heat to win this game. They have 50% success on RA games and 61% on RDA games while Boston has 93% success on RA games vs 66% on RDA.
RA means games that have 1 or 2 rest day(s) between them.
RDA means back to back games,
This is an RDA game for the Heat and an RA game for Boston.
Worse, this statistics does not include the one game Rozier wore a Heat uniform, so that RDA % drops for the Heat if yesterday’s game is included.
Statistics not withstanding, I hope the Heat grind this one out and get a win.

Last edited 1 month ago by Alien
SunManFromDogBone

Does anybody else think this dog can hunt? Hmm?

Terry Rozier
Tyler Herro
Jimmy Butler
Jaime Jaquez Jr
Bam Adebayo

Reality Czech

I thought about this lineup and like it a lot except i think it’d limit Jaquez. 3 of the other 4 work best with the ball in their hand, so it may be better to play Highsmith who doesn’t need the ball.

SunManFromDogBone

Makes sense. Heat could really use a legit (3 & d) power forward . Big guy to help Bam in the paint against bigger teams.

Reality Czech

Totally agree. Someone who is aggressive on the boards and can block some shots.

Sundayafternoons

Or even Duncan in JJJ’s place. If Rozier can limit dribble penetration, that’ll keep Duncan out of help and recover.

Prolly messes with the second unit’s shot creation though.

heat for life

still cant be denver everybody else yes,need a guy bigger than bam

SunManFromDogBone

Has any team in NBA history started four players with 20.0+ ppg averages?

  • Rozier 22.7 (combined Charlotte & Miami)
  • Herro 21.9
  • Bam 21.4
  • Butler 20.9

Miami also has three other players with 10.0+ and two other players with 9.0+ averages:

  • Jaquez 14.0
  • Robinson 13.6
  • Martin 10.7
  • Richardson 9.6
  • Love 9.5

Note: Boston has four players scoring in double figures:

  • Tatum 27.0
  • Brown 23.1
  • Porzingas 19.5
  • White 16.0
  • Holiday 13.2
  • All other Boston players average 8.1 ppg or less.

GO HEAT!!!

2qbn

Start Rozier tonight. No doubt after missing that 3, combined with his old team coming in to town, I get the feeling he’s going to come out hot.

I bet their happy it’s a B2B to try put that loss in the rearview. Of course, they could lose again. 😛 Go HEAT!

Bout30man

This Heat team truly can lose to anyone and beat anyone. You never know…

vagibugi

You cant win anybody scoring 90

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