The Boston Celtics head to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat in the NBA on Wednesday night. The teams will be reliving their 2020 Eastern Conference battle when they meet, a memory that does not sit well with the Celtics, who lost to the Heat 4-2.
Both ballclubs are coming off wins, with a shot to improve on their current league standing.
Fixture - Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Wednesday, January 6th, 7:30 PM ET (Thursday, January 7th, 6:00 AM IST)
Location - AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
Two days ago, the Boston Celtics relied on a brilliant performance from Jayson Tatum to defeat the Toronto Raptors 126-114. The 22-year-old scored a game-high 40 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. He and Jaylen Brown will have to continue to carry the scoring load, with Kemba Walker out with a knee injury.
Meanwhile, the Miami Heat obliterated the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 20-0 run to secure a 118-90 victory on Monday. The Heat used balanced scoring across their line-up to win just their third game of the season. Led by Jimmy Butler, Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo, nine players scored at least seven points in the win.
Boston Celtics Preview
If the Celtics are to win this fixture, they will have to be on their toes defensively against a Miami Heat team that gets its points from several sources.
Key Player - Jaylen Brown
For the fourth straight season, Jaylen Brown has increased his scoring average and is currently leading the Boston Celtics at 26.9 points per game.
He’s also registering career-bests in assists (3.1), steals (1.6), field goal percentage (57.7) and 3-point percentage.
It’s likely that his points and assists will go down once Kemba Walker returns. However, the Celtics will need him to produce at a high level until then and especially in this game against the defensive-minded Miami Heat.
Boston Celtics Predicted Lineup
G Tremont Waters G Jaylen Brown F Jayson Tatum F Tristan Thompson C Daniel Theis
Miami Heat Preview
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is experimenting on how to best utilize the talents of his team this season.
The Heat are struggling out of the gate with a 3-3 record but Spoelstra continues to experiment with his line-up. The coach had used a different starting line-up every game since the season started.
Will Spoelstra use a new line-up for the seventh time or will he use the one that worked in their last game?
Since the Miami Heat won by a huge margin, with Kelly Olynyk making his first start of the season, they could retain the team against the Celtics on Wednesday night.
Key Player - Tyler Herro
After coming off the bench last season as a rookie, Tyler Herro is not only a starter for the Miami Heat this year, but he is also playing the point guard position.
That’s not to say that he is the team’s chief facilitator by any stretch because Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are orchestrating the offense for them. However, he has more than doubled his assists average from 2.2 to 4.7 per game.
Unfortunately, the new role has affected Herro's shooting from behind the arc (38.9 to 31.3 percent) this season, something that he will need to recover if the Heat are to be successful.
Miami Heat Predicted Lineup
G Tyler Herro G Duncan Robinson F Jimmy Butler F Kelly Olynyk C Bam Adebayo
Celtics vs Heat Match Prediction
It’s been a roller-coaster ride for the Miami Heat as they have not had a single winning streak this season. The lack of consistency has been a head-scratcher particularly because the Heat have the talent to be among the top three teams in the East.
Playing on their home floor will do wonders for the Miami Heat as they face the Boston Celtics for the first time since the 2020 playoffs. Can the Heat hit their stride after a blowout win in their last game?
Not if Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics have anything to say about it. The Celtics have been playing better in the last few games and appear to be more in tune with one another than the Miami Heat.
They’ll walk away with a victory as long as Tatum and Brown continue to produce, and the rest of the squad follows their lead.
Where to watch Celtics vs Heat
The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat game will be shown nationally on ESPN and locally on FOX Sports Sun as well as NBC Sports Boston. For international viewers, the game will be available to livestream via NBA League Pass.
Published 06 Jan 2021, 16:25 IST