Tipoff: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, November 11, 2010
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
TV/Radio: TNT, 790
Spread: Miami by seven
Records: Miami 5-3, Boston 6-2
Last Meeting: Boston won the 88-80 contest at home in the NBA opener back on October 26.
- Boston’s O’Neals (Shaq and Jermaine) are questionable. Rookie Semih Erden could start at center tonight.
- The Heat are coming off one of the worst collapses in franchise history, losing to a Jazz squad that erupted for 42 fourth-quarter points.
- Kevin Garnett is pissing a lot of people off these days.
- Rajon Rondo is averaging a league leading 14.8 assists on the season.
- This is a statement game for Miami. If you can’t beat Boston, you aren’t making the Finals.
Keys To The Game
- Chris Bosh v. Kevin Garnett—Bosh was just 3-for-11 last time these teams met, with only two free throw attempts. He has to get to the line more, and that means taking the rock to the hole hard. Everyone is still waiting on him to have his breakout game. Will tonight be the night or will he let Garnett push him around again?
- Defending Rondo—Miami was shredded by Rondo’s play making ability last time out (17 assists). Carlos Arroyo was matched up with him from the start and gave him way too much space to run the Boston offense. Hopefully Chalmers can give it a go because Arroyo could really hurt Miami in this matchup.
- Physicality—The Celtics pushed Miami around, especially on the block. Will Bosh, Joel Anthony, Udonis Haslem and Zydrunas Ilgauskas man up on the inside and throw some bodies around? Is it Jamaal “Enforcer” Magloire time?
- Smart shots—Boston is king at forcing the opposition into taking difficult shots. They’re physical on the ball, and bang you down low. Miami needs to move the ball and play as a team. For LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, that means not settling for threes and making the defense work.
- Ray Allen—When Allen is hitting from the outside (He was 5-for-8 from three last time), Boston is a nightmare to beat. Wade especially can’t fall asleep on defense. Allen is active away from the ball and comes off screens very quickly. Wade needs to take Allen to the basket on offense and capitalize off of his size advantage.