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Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat: 1/29/08 - Game Preview

Boston: 34-8
Miami: 9-33

Starting Lineups
Rajon Rondo vs. Jason Williams
Dwyane Wade vs. Ray Allen
Udonis Haslem vs. ?
Dorell Wright vs. Paul Pierce
Mark Blount vs. Kendrick Perkins

Match Ups
Based upon the starting lineups I'd give the Heat the edge at the 2 and the 4, regardless of who starts for the Celtics at power forward. Not a tough choice. That said, I'm not entirely sure who gets the nod for the C's at the 4. If I had to bet I would go with Brian Scalabrine again. Yes, he struggled against Orlando and Leon Powe did eventually see more time. But I can't envision Doc Rivers throwing Powe or Glen Davis, even though he has started once, out there for the jump ball. Hopefully I'm right and Scal excels. Although, I'm doubtful of that latter in that scenario.

Don't I know you from somewhere?
No Celtics real fan will ever forget Rick Davis and Mark Blount celebrating like they won a championship when they defeated Boston last year. In fact I was somewhat disappointed when Kevin Garnett did the same after the Celtics beat the Timberwolves. And I was more disappointed to see that The Shamrock Headband beat me to the punch on that comparison. Hey Blount could very well drop 27 like he did against the San Antonio Spurs last week. And I expect Davis to light it up. He does what he do. However, I'm more concerned about James Posey. He pressed a bit the first time these teams met and with Kevin Garnett out, Posey is even more important.

Rant that is most likely over the top and definitely narrow minded
Last season when the Celtics were in the midst of that 18-game losing streak bloggers, sportscasters and seemingly everyone else made sure to highlight the Celtics' struggles. I recall an Outside the Lines segment in particular that hammered down a growing realization last February: the Celtics were terrible and everyone knew it. Fair enough. The Celtics were bad last year. But were they supposed to be good? Their top two scoring options heading into the season - Paul Pierce and Wally Szczerbiak - missed significant time. The guy who essentially grew into the top scoring role - Al Jefferson - had an appendectomy. And even minus the injuries, that roster was not destined for greatness. However, this year's Miami Heat strikes me as a much bigger disappointment. Yes, injuries to Shaq and Alonzo Mourning have set the team back. (Ironically, Mourning may be the bigger loss at this point.) Furthermore, no one really knows how hurt Dwayne Wade is. Still the Heat has a Hall of Fame coach and veteran players. There is no excuse for a 15 game losing streak. Hey it's not as if the experts are not noticing. I just thought the Heat would have more wins than the SuperSonics at this point.

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