|Last 5 Games||2-3||-2.7||1-4||3-2||97.8||51.4||48.6%||45.2||99.4||51.6||42.9%||54.0|
|Team Stats (All Games)||96.2||48.8||37-80||46.3%||6-17||35.6%||16-21||77.6%||47||8||23||21||8||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||98||49.4||37-82||45.4%||7-20||36.0%||17-22||75.4%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||93.9||48.9||36-80||44.8%||6-17||35.5%||16-20||79.5%||47||9||22||21||7||14||4|
|Stats Against (All Games)||96.5||47.9||36-82||43.9%||7-20||33.6%||18-24||74.0%||52||12||21||20||8||14||5|
|vs opponents averaging||97.7||49.2||37-82||45.0%||7-20||35.9%||17-22||75.1%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||99.1||50.6||36-81||45.1%||7-20||36.2%||19-25||76.3%||52||11||23||19||8||13||5|
|Last 5 Games||4-1||+3.6||4-1||2-2||96.4||49.8||45.9%||49.8||89.8||47.4||42.2%||44.2|
|Team Stats (All Games)||102.8||51.4||38-78||49.4%||9-22||39.4%||17-23||76.2%||46||8||23||19||9||13||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||98.1||49.4||37-82||45.3%||7-20||35.9%||17-22||75.3%||51||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||106.4||53.4||39-78||50.6%||9-21||40.6%||19-24||78.8%||46||8||23||18||9||12||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||95.0||48.7||36-81||44.0%||8-22||35.1%||16-21||77.0%||48||11||20||20||8||15||3|
|vs opponents averaging||97.4||49||37-82||44.9%||7-20||35.7%||16-22||75.1%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||95.7||49.3||36-80||44.5%||8-23||34.7%||16-21||76.7%||47||11||19||21||8||15||3|
|Average power rating of opponents played: BOSTON 95, MIAMI 94.9|
|3/10/2013||@ OKLAHOMA CITY||79-91||L||11.5||L||199||U||29-77||37.7%||51||18||30-68||44.1%||47||14|
|3/20/2013||@ NEW ORLEANS||86-87||L||-4.5||L||186.5||U||33-72||45.8%||32||13||31-71||43.7%||54||18|
|3/31/2013||@ NEW YORK||89-108||L||6.5||L||197.5||U||32-74||43.2%||42||10||35-72||48.6%||49||11|
|4/12/2013||@ MIAMI|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/13/2013||@ ORLANDO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/16/2013||INDIANA|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/17/2013||@ TORONTO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|3/3/2013||@ NEW YORK||99-93||W||-4.5||W||196||U||39-84||46.4%||52||14||32-74||43.2%||46||17|
|3/29/2013||@ NEW ORLEANS||108-89||W||-7.5||W||188.5||O||42-69||60.9%||32||13||34-74||45.9%||43||19|
|3/31/2013||@ SAN ANTONIO||88-86||W||9||W||194||U||33-71||46.5%||37||10||35-79||44.3%||57||12|
|4/12/2013||BOSTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/14/2013||CHICAGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/15/2013||@ CLEVELAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/17/2013||ORLANDO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|BOSTON: GUARDS: This offense now belongs to RAJON RONDO, and that should be especially true during the regular season . . . Even if he comes off the bench, JASON TERRY figures to see the bulk of the minutes at shooting guard. He provides some much-needed outside shooting after Ray Allen left and should challenge Paul Pierce for the team lead in shot attempts . . . Adding COURTNEY LEE was more of a move for the future. He's a fine young second-unit player for now and should be an heir apparent on one of the wings . . . AVERY BRADLEY could be out until December after shoulder surgery. As Boston's best perimeter defensive player, he could reclaim his starting job in the season's second half . . . The addition of LEANDRO BARBOSA gives Boston another veteran who can create his own offense in the second unit, something that was sorely missing in last year's playoff run. FORWARDS: PAUL PIERCE quietly had a great regular season last year. Though with some improved depth behind him, Rivers might have his 35-year-old All-Star wing rest more often . . . BRANDON BASS gives them another scoring option, even if he does struggle on the defensive end. He'll get full-time minutes only in certain matchups as long as the frontcourt is healthy . . . JEFF GREEN's heart condition is no longer a concern, but the tweener's role in Boston after a year off is cause for worry . . . There are already question marks surrounding rookie JARED SULLINGER's back. He's very similar to Bass: He can score out to mid-range but doesn't play much defense. Expect him to be strictly a second-unit player in his first NBA season . . . CHRIS WILCOX will provide fouls off the bench when healthy. CENTERS: The Celtics are prepared to go with KEVIN GARNETT in the middle, which was the case when they were at their best last season. His role on offense is still knocking down mid-range jumpers, and he's still an elite defensive player . . . Professional flopper JASON COLLINS will fill in nicely for the departed Greg Stiemsma . . . FAB MELO is years away from being ready to contribute (if he actually is ever ready to contribute) and DARKO MILICIC was also added via free agency for more frontcourt depth.|
|MIAMI: GUARDS: The regular season goal for DWYANE WADE is to just stay healthy. Even following knee surgery, he's still good enough to pile up numbers, but the minutes won't be there in the regular season . . . That's why the Heat brought in RAY ALLEN. He and Wade will share the floor at times, but Allen should primarily play off the bench. His role will be to knock down the wide-open threes Wade and LeBron James create . . . After all the big plays he made in the postseason, MARIO CHALMERS is entrenched as the starting point guard, despite being plagued by a bad hammy in the preseason . . . Super-quick NORRIS COLE looks like he'll become one of the NBA's better backup point guards . . . If he doesn't retire, the absurdly brittle MIKE MILLER will see limited regular-season minutes . . . TERREL HARRIS will likely make the team because he's willing to play defense. FORWARDS: While another title is their No. 1 priority, LeBRON JAMES has shown no need to rest during the regular season. He'll play full-time minutes and be in the thick of the MVP race . . . CHRIS BOSH remains integral to the offense with his ability to pull opposing bigs away from the basket. His stats don't reflect his actual value . . . SHANE BATTIER will continue to be a defensive specialist whose offensive role is limited to shooting open threes . . . UDONIS HASLEM is another guy who will get held back in the regular season. He should lead their low-post rotation . . . RASHARD LEWIS' knee problems have robbed him of athleticism . . . But Lewis should beat out fellow shooter JAMES JONES for a rotation spot . . . JARVIS VARNADO is a shot-blocking force with little to no offensive game. CENTERS: JOEL ANTHONY will continue to tag-team with Haslem in the middle. Anthony is an absolute negative on the offensive end, but he brings more size and shot-blocking than Haslem . . . DEXTER PITTMAN will be battling for a roster spot. Sexy Dexy has shown no signs of being an NBA-caliber player so far in his career . . . MICKELL GLADNESS is a better alternative than Pittman on both ends of the floor.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO BASKETBALL PREVIEW (BOSTON-MIAMI) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Celtics-Heat Preview* ======================
By BRIAN OREFICE STATS Senior Editor
Boston (40-38) at Miami (62-16), 7:30 p.m. EDT
With another regular-season accomplishment checked off their laundry list of accolades, the Miami Heat are ready for some well-deserved rest and relaxation before the playoffs.
If the Boston Celtics aren't careful, they just may wind up seeing them pretty often over the next few weeks.
In what's arguably been the Eastern Conference's premier matchup in recent years, the Celtics looks to strengthen their grip on a No. 7 seed - thus avoiding a first-round postseason trip to South Beach - when the clubs meet Friday night in Miami.
For all of the game's importance to Boston, the stakes in this one will still be considerably lessened from previous meetings. The Heat have knocked the Celtics out of the playoffs each season since LeBron James came on board in 2010, but Friday's game will no doubt have a different tone as it's likely that much of the star power will be watching from the sidelines.
For the Heat, James and Chris Bosh are as listed as day-to-day, while Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are not expected to suit up for Boston due to ankle issues. Miami's Dwyane Wade is expected to be back in action after missing six straight with ankle and knee problems, although his minutes will surely be limited.
"I'm sure my lungs will need that," he said.
James and Bosh are afforded the potential luxury of taking the night off thanks to their team's 103-98 victory at Washington on Wednesday, a game in which the Heat (62-16) set a franchise mark for wins and clinched home-court advantage through the NBA finals.
The effort put the finishing touches on a record-setting season that also saw a 27-game win streak.
"We've had an amazing year," forward Shane Battier said. "We've set a lot of records and we've had a lot of storylines the whole year. Hopefully our best storyline is still ahead of us. That's what we're saving the high-fives for."
With four games to go before the regular season ends, Miami has ample time to recuperate from some nagging health concerns for its stars. James has been working his way back from a sore left hamstring that forced him to miss four of the last six games and Bosh didn't even make the trip to Washington with flu-like symptoms.
In their stead, the team's reserves have hardly missed a beat, giving the Heat plenty of depth going into the playoffs.
"Most definitely, we would be a playoff team," forward Rashard Lewis said of Miami's bench after he scored 17 against the Wizards. "Probably not a top-three team, but I think anywhere from there we'd be fighting for a playoff spot, just because we've got a lot of veterans on the team, a lot of smart guys on the team that know how to play the game."
Just when it looked like the Celtics (40-38) would have an opportunity to take advantage of a short-handed Heat squad, it was announced that Wade would return and Pierce and Garnett would be out, putting the team in an even more challenging predicament.
Boston has a three-game lead over Milwaukee for the seventh seed, but it lost the season series to the Bucks and finishes with three of four on the road.
The Celtics fell 101-93 at home to Brooklyn on Wednesday, continuing an inconsistent season that has seen them alternate wins and losses over their last four games.
"I think we're focusing too much on the playoffs, and that's not here yet," said Garnett, who made his last two starts after missing eight games with a bad left ankle. "I think we need to focus and lock in on these games that we have left and put the energy and effort behind that."
Despite the significant difference in records, the teams have battled in extremely competitive games in 2013 - both in Boston. Miami won 105-103 on March 18 on a James jumper with 10.5 seconds left, and the Celtics earned a 100-98 victory in two overtimes Jan. 27.
|Last Updated: 12/22/2014 9:35:51 PM EST|