The Celtics started off their late-November Eastern Conference kick with a difficult loss, falling short against Orlando a week ago but since then, they've rattled off three straight wins. Now, in search of a fourth, they head south to Miami for the first time this season.
They'll take on a Heat squad that's 9-6 and appears to be right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race this season. Hang on tight hoop fans because this should be a good one.
Sunday, Nov. 29, 6 p.m. ET
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Fla.
Celtics (12-4, 1st place in Atlantic Division)
Heat (9-6, 3rd place in Southeast Division)
This is the first matchup between Boston and Miami this season. Dating back to early 2007, the Celtics have won eight of their last nine games against their foes to the south with the one loss came on March 11 of this year (107-99 in Miami). The C's also survived an overtime scare on March 18, winning 112-108 in Boston.
This Heat team could be for real. Not only is Dwyane Wade primed to have the best season of his career at 27, but the supporting cast around him is starting to look promising. Jermaine O'Neal and Udonis Haslem are a couple of able bodies in the Miami front line, and Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers have evolved into a pair of quality young co-stars alongside D-Wade. Miami could be a top-four team in the Eastern Conference when all's said and done.
Point guard: Rajon Rondo
Shooting guard: Ray Allen
Small forward: Paul Pierce
Power forward: Kevin Garnett
Center: Kendrick Perkins
Point guard: Mario Chalmers
Shooting guard: Dwyane Wade
Small forward: Quentin Richardson
Power forward: Michael Beasley
Center: Jermaine O'Neal
The Celtics are 8-3 against Eastern Conference opponents this season.
They are second in the NBA with only 99.8 points allowed per 100 possessions.
Ray Allen is a 93.2 percent free-throw shooter, second-best in the NBA this season.
Rajon Rondo Kendrick Perkins Paul Pierce Kevin Garnett
Rajon Rondoleads the league with 42 steals.
Kendrick Perkinsis shooting 62.0 percent from the floor, fourth-best in the league.
Paul Pierceis shooting 46.3 percent from three-point range, a career high.
Kevin Garnettis averaging 5.7 defensive rebounds per game, his lowest in 13 years.
The Heat are 6-4 at home.
They have turned the ball over only 207 times, fourth-fewest in the NBA.
Dwyane Wade has 27.1 points per game this season, fifth-most in the NBA.
Wade is also fifth in the league with 311 shots taken.
Udonis Haslem leads the team with 8.9 rebounds per game.
Daequon Cook is 14-for-15 from the free-throw line this season.
Jermaine O'Neal averages 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks for his career against the Celtics.
Quentin Richardson averages 12.7 points and 6.1 boards.
Celtics Tony Allen
Glen Davis is nearing his return from a broken thumb. He plans to have his cast removed this week and begin strengthening his hand again.
Tony Allenis out indefinitely with a right ankle injury.
Quentin Richardson has endured back spasms this week. He participated in a full practice Saturday and was deemed fit to return by Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
In 2007, the Celtics pulled off one of the most lopsided wins in franchise history, beating the New York Knicks 104-59 in Boston. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen had 21 points apiece for the Celtics, who shot 12-for-22 as a team from beyond the three-point arc. Eddie House came off the bench to sink five treys and seal the blowout win.
"It’s an important trip because it’s four good teams. Unfortunately all four teams are playing well. But that’s what you have to expect when you go out on the road."
–Doc Rivers, in Sunday's Boston Herald, on the C's current four-game road trip.
The Celtics hit the road for a four-game stretch.
This C's team is still lacking something.
Allen Iverson's retirement has some older Celtics worried.
Miami fell to Washington last time out.
The Heat need to help Dwyane Wade get better looks.
Jermaine O'Neal attends to family matters.
The Lakers routed the Warriors.
Are the Sixers really considering Allen Iverson?
Dwyane Wade won't allow Paul Pierce to enjoy his afternoon in Miami as the C's captain will have to deal with him on both ends of the floor. Likewise, Michael Beasley won't be an easy cover easy for Kevin Garnett, who will need every ounce of athleticism he can muster to maintain the young stud. This won't be an easy test, but the Celtics have what it takes to capture their fourth consecutive win.
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