HEAT Finish Road Trip In Boston

Justise Winslow
Photo Credit: Gary Dineen
by Joe Beguiristain

After a remarkable overtime victory over the Raptors, the HEAT have made their way to Boston to take on the Celtics at TD Garden Wednesday night at 7:30PM.

And a similar challenge awaits with the Celtics yet to lose on their home floor.

Just Tuesday night, Miami handed Toronto its first loss at Scotiabank Arena thanks to an exceptional overtime period by Jimmy Butler. That said, Justise Winslow, Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo, among others, also made big contributions in the win. As a result of the collective effort, the HEAT had five players score in double-figures and held the Raptors to just 38.5 percent shooting on the night.

But enough about that. Let’s get to the task at hand, shall we?

Boston enters the contest at 14-5, right behind Miami in the standings. And after a quick 10-1 start to the season, the Celtics have slowed down a bit on the offensive end. Then again, losing Gordon Hayward due to injury played a part in that. Even so, the team has still won three of its last four (albeit against weaker competition) and is tied for sixth with the HEAT in net rating (6.2).

And while Boston gives up a ton of non-corner threes (28.6 per game to be exact), they really limit teams from the restricted area (61.0 percent on just 26.5 attempts per contest). Luckily, Miami is shooting a rather efficient 39.0 percent from deep on average volume, so perhaps the squad can get even more up on Wednesday.

No matter how you slice it, though, this is going to be a tough matchup. Newcomer Kemba Walker has played quite well in his new digs, while stalwarts Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have averaged career-highs across the board and have been fantastic on the defensive end. So fantastic that the Celtics average 8.8 steals per 100 possessions, which is tied for second-best in the league. However, Miami is right behind them at 8.5.

We’ll see how it all plays out.

INJURY/STATUS UPDATE: Goran Dragić (Right Groin Strain) and KZ Okpala (Left Achilles Strain) are out for Miami.

Tacko Fall (G League - Two-Way), Gordon Hayward (Left Hand Fracture), Romeo Langford (G League - On Assignment), Marcus Smart (Abdomen Contusion/Illness) and Tremont Waters (G League - Two-Way) are all out for Boston.

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