Game 2: Celtics at Heat preview


MIAMI — There’s just one off day between games in this series, but already we’re rehashing story lines in the Eastern Conference Finals. Chris Bosh is still hurt. Ray Allen is still hurt and having trouble shooting. And the Celtics need to play tougher, or maybe just better.

Doc Rivers told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan yesterday that he had considered sitting Allen during an upcoming game, but Rivers was more muted in talking to a group of reporters.

“No not yet,” said Rivers. “We’re good. With Ray we’re going to keep throwing him out there, see what we can get, and if we feel like we can’t get it we’ll go with someone else. But I think right now you’ve got to give Ray a fighting chance, every time.”


Asked this morning if he’d sit out a game this series, Allen replied, “Hell no.”

The Celtics really do need to play better, and that’s the focus for Game 2 tonight. Miami made 19 layups in Game 1, and Rivers said he began his team’s film session Tuesday by showing all 19 of them on a loop. The Heat shot 50 percent from the field in Game 1 despite hitting only 5 of 25 3-pointers.

Here are the details for tonight’s game:

Tip-off: 8:30 p.m.
Series: Heat lead, 1-0
Broadcast info: ESPN, WEEI/850 AM/93.7 FM (Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell)

Probable starters:

PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Ray Allen
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Kevin Garnett

PG: Mario Chalmers
SG: Dwyane Wade
SF: LeBron James
PF: Shane Battier
C: Ronny Turiaf

Story lines:

Physicality: This is going to be talked about endlessly on the broadcast, so be ready for it. The Celtics need to be more physical. They need to get more physical. What will it actually mean? Not much. The best way the Celtics can “get more physical” is to make shots. Amazing how much tougher they will seem if their shots are going in.

Get to the line: This is the big one for the Celtics. Pierce and Rondo combined for 38 shots Monday night without earning a trip to the free throw line. Said Rondo, “That’s crazy”. It’s also a way to lose basketball games.


No excuses: The Celtics are playing this series without Avery Bradley, but Chris Bosh might miss the entire series, too. As much as the Celtics miss Bradley, and believe me they do, he’s not as good of a player as Bosh. The Celtics need to play better, and it starts by making shots and preventing easy scores on the other end. They don’t have a player who is better than James or Wade, so they need to do it as a team.


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