Tuesday, January 21, 2014
W2W4: Celtics vs. Heat (Game 43 of 82)
By Chris Forsberg
The Boston Celtics (14-28, 5-16 away) visit the Miami Heat (29-12, 16-3 home) on Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena (CSN, NBATV, 7:30 p.m.). Here's what to watch for:
- NO LOVE LOST: Even Rajon Rondo admits that Celtics-Heat isn't a rivalry at the moment, not while Miami is polishing championship trophies and Boston tries to navigate its way back to contender status. But as he noted after Monday's offday practice, "I still don’t like those guys." Rondo, set to play his third game since returning from missing nearly a year due to an ACL tear, should have a little extra motivation seeing the likes of LeBron James and old, err, friend(?) Ray Allen across the court. "A lot of things upset me about Miami,” Rondo told reporters Monday, according to Masslive.com. “Let me go home and write [a list] down. No, just we’ve had some great battles in the past. When you play a team -- I could say the same thing about the Knicks or the teams we’ve battled in the past, the Game 7 series -- it’s a grind. You’re competing. It’s a competition. There’s just some teams you don’t like."
- HEAT HAVE MOTIVATION: The Heat are on a bit of skid, having lost four of their last six, including last time out against Atlanta. Miami is probably still smarting about Boston's November win here when Jeff Green hit an improbable 3-pointer from the corner as time expired to lift the Celtics to a 111-110 triumph (what may ultimately be their most memorable win of the 2013-14 season).
- LOOSE BALLS: ANTHONY COMES HOME: Joel Anthony, acquired from the Miami Heat last week as part of a three-team swap, could be in line to make his Boston debut against his former team. Anthony joined the team on Friday, but sat out the last two games. Brad Stevens thinks his interior defense could help a Boston team that hasn't been stout in that department. "The thing I already know about him is he is a great person to have on our team," Stevens said, according to the team's website. "I am thrilled that he's here. Practice-wise, in the locker room, personality. Clearly he's a person that trains and works the right way." ... The Celtics will likely be without reserve combo guard Jerryd Bayless, who departed Sunday's loss in Orlando with a sprained toe on his left foot. That could mean even more minutes for backup point guard Phil Pressey. ... Chris Johnson, signed to a 10-day contract last week, also has not made an appearance yet for Boston.
(Read full game preview)