Celtics Must Step Up to Defend Home Court in Game 2 Without Kevin Garnett


April 20, 2010

Celtics Must Step Up to Defend Home Court in Game 2 Without Kevin Garnett The Celtics gave the Miami Heat a whole lot of fight in Game 1 of this playoff series on Saturday night — in more ways than one. On Tuesday, they'll find out if they've still got more in the tank.

Without Kevin Garnett, who serves a one-game suspension for his role in the altercation Saturday with Miami's Quentin Richardson, the Celtics take the floor to defend their home court in Game 2. Richardson and the Heat have gotten inside the Celtics' heads a little bit, and it's time to see if their psychological advantage can translate to a win. So far, the Heat have had no luck against these Celtics.

When and Where

Celtics vs. Heat
Tuesday, April 20, 8 p.m. (TNT, CSNE)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.

Head to Head

The Celtics have Miami's number, winning five straight regular-season meetings dating back to March 2009. But more importantly, they've got a 1-0 lead in this best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal. The C's need a win in Game 2 to maintain their home-court advantage.

Key Matchup

Rasheed Wallace vs. Michael Beasley

Even before Kevin Garnett was suspended, Celtics coach Doc Rivers was expecting the Heat to use Beasley more as an offensive weapon in Game 2. Now, with the suspension, it's a no-brainer. He's your new go-to guy. With KG out of the lineup, the onus will be on Wallace to step up and fill his shoes defensively. He's got the size and the strength to muscle up to Beasley and put him in his place, and he's obviously got the confidence. But can he move with him? Can he jump and contest shots? Can he give consistent effort on every possession? These are the questions that could decide Game 2.

Starting Lineups

Point guard: Rajon Rondo
Shooting guard: Ray Allen
Small forward: Paul Pierce
Power forward: Rasheed Wallace
Center: Kendrick Perkins


Point guard: Carlos Arroyo
Shooting guard: Dwyane Wade
Small forward: Quentin Richardson
Power forward: Michael Beasley
Center: Jermaine O'Neal

Stat Sheet


  • The Celtics were 44-25 with Kevin Garnett and 6-7 without him this season.
  • Rajon Rondo gave the Celtics 10 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in Game 1.
  • Ray Allen is a career 40.3 percent 3-point shooter in the postseason.


  • Dwyane Wade led all scorers in Game 1 with 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting. He also had eight rebounds and six assists.
  • In seven career games against the Celtics, Michael Beasleyhas averaged 15.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
  • Jermaine O'Neal has career postseason averages of 13.2 points and 7.1 rebounds.

Black and Blue


  • Kevin Garnett is suspended for Game 2 after elbowing Quentin Richardson in the head during the final minute of Game 1.
  • Tony Allen, Glen Davis and Rajon Rondo have all recovered nicely from bouts with the flu last week.


  • The Heat are completely healthy.


Without KG, everyone's got to step up. You can expect Doc to use plenty of Rasheed Wallace in Game 2 — Doc respects his veterans and gives them plenty of minutes, especially come playoff time. But the C's will also need more out of Glen Davis, and perhaps a little out of Shelden Williams as well. This is Doc's chance to show off the depth in his rotation. If the Celtics can play as a team despite the absence of their leader Garnett, they've still got a good shot in this one. But everybody has to do their part.

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