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The Sports Daily > Red's Army
How we see it goin’ down: Celtics – Heat

Tip: 7:00 PM    Court: American Airlines Arena   Watch it: ESPN  Hear it: WEEI

         Referees: Scott Foster, David Jones, Michael Smith

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The Matchup

Antoine shimmy 
Antoine-walker heat
Record: 32-24 (1st Atlantic, 4th East) Record: 40-15 (1st Southeast, 2nd East)
On road: 12-15 At home: 24-3
Streak: Won 2 Streak: Won 1
    Leaders  Leaders
Buckets: Pierce (19.1 ppg) Buckets: LeBron James (26.8 ppg)
Boards: Garnett (8.2 rpg) Boards: James (8.0 rpg)
Dimes: Rondo (11.2 apg) Dimes: James (6.4 apg)
For the Stat Geeks: For the Stat Geeks: 
Offensive Rating: 100.6 (29th NBA) Offensive Rating: 108.0 (6th NBA)
Defensive Rating: 98.2 (1st NBA) Defensive Rating: 100.5 (5th NBA)
Pace: 90.4 (20th NBA) Pace: 91.6 (12th NBA)

Last time

The Celtics embarrassed the Heat 91-72 a week and a half ago thanks to a Rajon Rondo 16 point, 11 rebound, 14 assist triple double.  Paul Pierce had 23 and Avery Bradley had 13 points and 2 steals.

This time

Get it to: Rajon Rondo

Let's look beyond the national TV thing for Rondo's success against Miami.  The Heat (a) have no one who can stop him and (b) with Bass, KG, and Pierce spacing the floor, Rondo's got lanes to the basket. 

Fun stat I tweeted yesterday:  Celtics have scored 5123 points this season. Rondo has assisted on 1131 points and scored 557 himself. The combined 1688 equals more than 1/3 of C's offense.

Gotta stop: Dwyane Wade

Pick your poison.  One of these guys will go off, so if you can slow one down, then you're off to a good start.  I picked Wade because he's going to be PISSED that some young punk named Avery got credit for shutting him down.  Pissed off Wade can bring pain.  This will be Bradley's toughest test of his career. 

The Wild Card: Avery Bradley  

 Will the Heat let Bradley slice them up with backdoor cuts again?  And if they focus too much on him, will that just open things up for other guys?  Will the Heat make any adjustments, or will they, pardon the pun, get burned again?

How we see it goin' down

I have been going back and forth on this for a while in my head.  The Celtics are playing great, and they're a different team than they were even a few weeks ago.  But the Miami Heat are home, where they are virtually unbeatable… and they are pissed about the nationally televised beat-down the Celtics laid on them.

This will be a battle (or bar fight, if you will).  This will be a tough, Rocky vs. Apollo Creed type of bloody war.  The Celtics will leave the Heat bloodied and bruised, begging for there not to be a rematch.  Apollo Creed won that fight, just like Miami is going to win this game, 91-89.