MIAMI – Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce took the trip with the Celtics to Miami, but as promised, coach Doc Rivers announced neither would play Friday against the Miami Heat to rest sore ankles.
Knowing he may make this decision, Rivers asked reporters after Wednesday’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets 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 need one more win to clinch the seventh seed, and that is their most winnable game.
As for the Heat, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Udonis Haslem sat out Wednesday’s win over the Washington Wizards to rest. It is uncertain if 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 admitted the Celtics wanted to play the Heat in the playoffs, but not the first round, so expect Garnett and Pierce to play in at least one of the final three games.