Celtics looking to get back on track as they host the Heat

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat make their only visit to Boston this season as the Celtics try to break a 5 game losing streak.

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Miami Heat (46-19) at Boston Celtics (22-46)
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #69, Home Game #36
TV: CSNNE, SunSports, NBA-LP 754(DTV)/753(Xfinity)
Radio: WBZ, WAXY
TD Garden
Referees: Tony Brothers, Bennie Adams, Leroy Richardson

Game Thread l Chat

The Heat make their only visit to Boston this season as the Celtics try to break a 5 game losing streak. The Celtics won the first game in the series 111-110 on a Jeff Green last second shot but lost the second game 86-93. Both of the previous games were played in Miami.

The Heat are playing in the second of back to back games, playing on Tuesday night in Cleveland and then having to travel to Boston. Dwyane Wade sat out the game vs the Cavs and is a game time decision for this game. Greg Oden played against the Cavs and has been named the starting center, but is also considered a game time decision for this game because he played on Tuesday night.. The Celtics finished a 3 game road trip on Monday night and had a day to rest up for this game.

The Heat struggled through a 1-5 stretch before winning two in a row, barely beating the Cavs, who were without Kyrie Irving, 100-96. They will be looking for their 3rd straight victory and a series win over the Celtics while the Celtics are looking to break a 5 game losing streak.

The Heat are currently the second seed, 3.5 games behind the Pacers and a save 8.5 games ahead of the 3rd spot. The Celtics still have the 4th worst record and are half a game against the Jazz, who have the 5th worst record and 2.5 games behind the Magic, who have the 3rd worst record.

Probable Starters
Point Guard

vs
Rajon Rondo vs Mario Chalmers

Shooting Guard

vs
Avery Bradley vs Dwyane Wade

Small Forward
vs
Jeff Green vs LeBron James

Power Forward

vs
Brandon Bass vs Shane Battier

Center
vs
Kris Humphries vs Chris Bosh




Celtics Reserves
Jerryd Bayless
Kelly Olynyk
Joel Anthony
Chris Johnson
Jared Sullinger
Chris Babb
Phil Pressey

Injuries

Keith Bogans (personal) out
Vitor Faverani (knee) out
Gerald Wallace (knee,ankle) out



Heat Reserves
Ray Allen
Udonis Haslem
Chris Andersen
Norris Cole
Rashard Lewis
Toney Douglas
Michael Beasley
James Jones
Greg Oden
Justin Hamilton

Injuries

Dwyane Wade (rest) game time decision
Greg Oden (rest) game time decision

Key Matchups
vs
Avery Bradley vs Dwyane Wade
Avery Bradley does as good a job as anyone of hounding Wade and frustrating him. They rested Wade in the first of back to back games and so we should see a rested Wade for this one. Hopefully Avery has shaken off the rust and will be ready to hassle Wade into a terrible shooting night.

vs
Jeff Green vs LeBron James
Green has had big games against LeBron and has been able to defend him well in the past. I'm sure that LeBron will still have the memory of Green hitting the game winner in his face in their first meeting this season. Green had a terrible game on Monday and should be due for a good one in this game. The Celtics will need the aggressive Jeff Green to show up to have any chance of winning this game.

Honorable Mention
Rajon Rondo vs Mario Chalmers
Rondo has made it known that he doesn't much like the Heat and would love to get a win against them. His matchup with Chalmers has always been a good one. After taking the blame for the last 2 losses, he should be motivated to head up a victory in this one.

Keys to the Game
Defense
The Celtics have been allowing teams to score way too easily. They have to get back to playing tough team defense, especially against a team like Miami that is dangerous both from outside and in the paint.

Rebound
The Heat are dead last in the league in rebounding, pulling down just 36.6 rebounds per game. They are also last in offensive rebounding with 7.4 per game. The Celtics have been rebounding very well recently. Crashing the boards will give the Celtics second chance points as well as keeping the Heat from getting fast breaks and second chance points.

Be Aggressive
The Celtics have to be aggressive in going to the basket and not settle for jumpers, especially if they aren't falling. They have to dive for loose balls and be aggressive in crashing the boards. The starters need to come out and play aggressively from the beginning and the second unit needs to come in and pick up where they leave off. They have to attack the basket and be aggressive on defense for the whole 48 minutes. No letting up.

Take Care of the Ball
The Heat are 2nd in the league in steals with 9.1 per game. The Celtics have to take care of the ball or the Heat will make them pay with fast break points and LeBron show off dunks.

X-Factors
Hunger, Revenge and Fatigue

The Celtics have to be hungry for a win and go all out to get one. The Heat will still have their loss from the first meeting between these two teams on their minds and will be looking for revenge. With the Heat, except Wade, playing in back to back games, fatigue could be a factor for the Heat as well.

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