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Gerald Green and the Celtics visit the shorthanded Heat

The Celtics are back on the road to visit the shorthanded Heat for the first of 4 meetings this season.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics (9-7) at Miami Heat (5-11)
Monday, November 28, 2016
7:30 PM ET
Regular Season Game #17, Road Game #10
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, 790 The Ticket
American Airlines Arena

Referees: Danny Crawford, Derrick Collins, CJ Washington

After one game at home, the Celtics are back on the road to visit the Miami Heat for the first of 4 meetings this season. The Celtics swept the series 3-0 last season. This will be the Celtics first game against the Heat without Dwyane Wade. Also, since meeting last year, Gerald Green has switched from the Heat to the Celtics. Hopefully he was taking notes on David Lee's performance against his former team in the last game.

The Heat are 3-7 at home while the Celtics are 5-4 on the road. The Celtics are 6-4 in their last 10 games while the Heat are 3-7 in their last 10. The Heat are struggling with injury problems. Chris Bosh has been ruled out for the season, in spite of his overwhelming desire to play once again. That is a messy situation where the Heat won't let him play but they won't release him either.

Goran Dragic , Justise Winslow and Willie Reed all missed the Heat's loss on Saturday to the Memphis Grizzlies. Winslow, Dion Waiters and Tyler Johnson are have been ruled out for this game. Dragic and Whiteside,are listed as game time decisions. Ellington and Reed are expected to play. If Dragic can't go, McGruder will likely start. I'm just guessing that James Johnson may get a start in Waiters' place. Dragic went through the shoot around this morning and so if he can play, then, McGruder will likely start for Waiters.

The Celtics have no injuries listed but they still aren't playing at 100%. Jae Crowder is still struggling with pain from the ankle sprain that kept him out for 8 games. Isaiah Thomas is playing through pain from a sprained finger on his shooting hand. Marcus Smart is playing with pain in his ankle from a bruise a few games ago. Also, Al Horford has been ruled out for tonight after the birth of his second child. I'm guessing that Kelly will get the start in his place.

Probable Starting Matchups
Point Guard

Isaiah Thomas vs Goran Dragic

Shooting Guard

Avery Bradley vs James Johnson

Small Forward
Jae Crowder vs Josh Richardson

Power Forward
Amir Johnson vs Derrick Williams

Kelly Olynyk vs Hassan Whiteside

Jaylen Brown
Gerald Green
Demetrius Jackson
Jordan Mickey
Terry Rozier
James Young
Jonas Jerebko
Tyler Zeller
Marcus Smart

Head Coach

Brad Stevens

Al Horford (out) personal

Luke Babbitt
Udonis Haslem
Tyler Johnson
Rodney McGruder
Josh McRoberts
Willie Reed
Wayne Ellington

Chris Bosh (blood clots) out
Justise Winslow (wrist) out
Goran Dragic (elbow) game time decision
Dion Waiters (hip flexor) out
Hassan Whiteside (knee) game time decision
Tyler Johnson (oral surgery) out


Erik Spoelstra

Key Matchups
Isaiah Thomas vs Goran Dragic
Former teammates match up against each other. Dragic is averaging 15.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists. They certainly know each other and their tendencies and so this should be a good matchup. However, Dragic missed the Heat's game on Saturday and will be a game time decision for this game. If he can't go, Rodney McGruder should get the start once again.

Kelly Olynyk vs Hassan Whiteside
Whiteside has played very well since coming to the Heat, especially on defense. He is averaging 16.8 points, 14.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. The Celtics will have a tough time scoring inside with Whiteside patrolling the paint.

Keys to the Game

Defense wins games. The Heat are allowing just 97.4 points per game while the Celtics are allowing 103.4 points per game. The team that is able to lock down on defense will more than likely get the win.


The Heat are averaging 45.1 rebounds per game while the Celtics are averaging 42.8 rebounds per game. Crashing the boards will give the Celtics extra possessions as well as keeping the Heat from getting fast breaks and second chance points. However, Hassan Whiteside has been cleaning up on the glass for the Heat and the Celtics will need to work hard to win the rebounding battle.

Be Aggressive
The Celtics have to be aggressive in going to the basket and not settle for jumpers, especially if the jumpers aren't falling. They have to dive for loose balls and be aggressive in crashing the boards. They can't afford to slack off or to allow the Heat to play harder than them. They have to be the team that wants it more.

Play Hard for 48 Minutes
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.

Road Game
- The Celtics are back on the road and have to block out the hostile crowd and they have to focus on playing the game and not allow the distractions of playing on the road take their minds off the game.

Who's Not Playing
- The players not playing in this game may have more of an effect on the game than those who are playing. It goes without saying that if Whiteside and Dragic don't play, it will be a much easier game for the Celtics. They are going to miss Horford in this one but with the injuries on the Heat, they still may have the upper hand.

Officiating - Officiating can always be an x-factor. In a lot of games the officiating isn't a factor. But there are some where the officiating completely tilts the game in one direction or the other. Which will the Celtics get in this game? It's always a possibility to have to play against a bias toward the home team when playing on the road.

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