GAME PREVIEW: Heat look to close homestand on right note against Celtics

Heat Celtics
The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics will meet for the third-and-final time this season on Sunday. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

In a rematch of three of the last four Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat will close a four-game homestand against the Boston Celtics Sunday in a matinee showdown at 2:00 p.m. EST on ABC.

This will, by far, be the most important sporting event Sunday (what’s a “Super Bowl,” you ask?), as this will be the two teams’ third-and-final meeting of the season against each other. Boston took care of business in the previous two games, including a 143-110 victory over the Heat inside Kaseya Center in Miami, Fla., on Jan. 25.

The Celtics, who own an NBA-best 40-12 record, possess a 4.5-game lead on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have climbed up to the No. 2 seed, in the Eastern Conference at 40-12. They have won five of their last six, eight of their last 10 and 11 of their last 14.

Their most recent victory came in a 133-129 victory over the nine-win Washington Wizards Friday to close a 5-2 seven-game homestand; in fact, their last road game was in South Florida against Miami.

The Heat’s quartet of Terry Rozier, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have looked more synergized of late, winning four of their last five. Though the Celtics will, by far, be their toughest test to date over this recent stretch, as their four wins have come against the Sacramento Kings, Wizards, Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs, respectively.

This will be the final game of a four-game road trip for Miami before it heads off for six on the road, beginning with a back-to-back against the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers ahead of the All-Star break. The Heat are 15-12 at home this season with a 0.2 NET Rating (21st) in such games this season; Boston is 15-9 on the road with an NBA-best 12.6 NET Rating away from home.

Can the Heat end this homestand 3-1? Time will tell…..

Injury Report (at the time of this publishing):

Miami Heat:

  • Jimmy Butler (personal) — QUESTIONABLE
  • Dru Smith (knee) — OUT
  • Cole Swider (G-League) — OUT
  • Alondes Williams (G-League) — OUT

Boston Celtics:

  • JD Davison (G-League) — OUT
  • Drew Peterson (G-League) — OUT
  • Jaden Springer (ankle) — OUT
  • Xavier Tillman (knee) — OUT

Projected Starting 5:

Miami Heat:

  • Terry Rozier, G
  • Tyler Herro, G
  • Jimmy Butler, F
  • Caleb Martin, F
  • Bam Adebayo, C

Boston Celtics:

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

Betting Lines (at the time of this publishing):

  • Spread: Celtics -6
  • O/U: 226
  • Moneyline: Celtics -240, Heat +198

Check out those lines and more at Fanduel Sportsbook!

Broadcast Info:

  • Tipoff: 2:00 p.m. EST
  • TV: ESPN/ABC
  • Radio: AM 560 Sports WQAM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)
  • Spanish Radio: WAQI 710 AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)

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2qbn

Jimmy is out. Apparently the death of a family member. Damn. Hope the team can dig down deep and pull one out for Jimmy.

Reminder to Heat team officials, stop saying Jimmy being out for personal reasons all the time as nobody will believe it when it actually happens. Like the dip shit at work who wants to get out of work and says his grandma died. The she actually dies. Now what?

Last edited 15 days ago by 2qbn
Reality Czech

Yeah, I guess this one is the real deal.
On your last line, I had employees who must’ve had 7 grandmas.

vagibugi

big family. 🙂

SunManFromDogBone

Lighten up dude. Don’t panic. The sky isn’t falling. After all, it’s just a meaningless regular season game. We can still come back and go to the Finals and win it all even if we finish in 10th place and barely make the play-in tournament. Now if Bam was out and Love or Bryant was the starting center, that would be different. Hang loose and chill. It is what it is.
GO HEAT!!!

2qbn

My annoyance at how the team treats the reporting of players being out has nothing to do with what you’re suggesting. But please, conflate away

vagibugi

Its time to make a statement.

A blown out win would do exactly that.
So its clear what is the goal.

2qbn

I know they say it’s for personal reasons, but if Jimmy misses a game vs Celtics after 3 days off, that is really effed up. Of all the games and times to miss this season, this isn’t one of them.

Also, notice with Jimmy and Kyle, when he was on the team, missed games due to personal reasons and never an injury, which makes me think these personal claims are BS. It’s go time, Jimmy. You get paid to play basketball over the course of X amount of months. Handle your business in the offseason 😉 😛

heat for life

regular season february let him be 100% for playoffs

2qbn

But they’re saying personal reasons. That’s my point. If he’s injured, fine. Say it. Don’t do this stupid personal reasons excuse when he’s had 3 days off.

Reality Czech

Agree 1000%. If this was against the Wizards or similar team, fine. But this is against the best team in the league on NATIONAL TV!! We are in 8th place. People who don’t think every game matters right now are delusional. Last season, we were 5 minutes away from missing the playoffs entirely until fate shined on the team. You can’t, as several here have stated, expect that to happen again.

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