MIAMI — Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce made the trip with the Celtics to Miami, but coach Doc Rivers, as promised, announced that neither would play Friday against the Miami Heat so they could rest sore ankles.
With this decision in mind, Rivers asked reporters after Wednesday’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets in Boston whether the Heat-Celtics game would be nationally televised. When told the game would be on NBA TV, Rivers shook his head and smiled.
It is uncertain whether Garnett or Pierce will play Saturday at Orlando, but the Celtics, who have four games left, need one more win to clinch the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, and that appears to be the most winnable game remaining (the others are against Indiana and Toronto).
As for the Heat, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Udonis Haslem all sat out Wednesday’s win over the Washington Wizards to rest. It is uncertain whether any of those four will play against the Celtics.
The Heat have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Rivers said the Celtics want to play the Heat in the playoffs, though not in the first round, so expect Garnett and Pierce to play in at least one of the final three games.Gary Washburn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @gwashNBAGlobe.