Boston will have their hands full when they take on Miami in this weeks Game Of The Week.[caption id="attachment_15343" align="aligncenter" width="558"] Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports[/caption] Miami and Boston always put on a show when they play each other. It's no secret that these two teams hate each other, every game they play has the feeling of a playoff game.
GAME TIME & VIEWING OPTIONSTime & Date: Saturday, April 13, 9:30am AEDT Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami Viewing Info: NBA League Pass (see our TV Guide for full info)
FORM HEADING INMiami Heat: 60-16 Miami have absolutely blitzed the Eastern Conference this season. They have eleven more wins than the second placed Knicks. Like many teams with a playoff spot secured, they are resting their stars and seeing what their bench players can provide to the team. Miami's bench players proved that they can do some damage, against San Antonio. When Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers sat out the game, the second unit, along with Chris Bosh stood up and came away with a huge win off a Chris Bosh game winning three. Boston Celtics: 39-37 The Celtics are in a bit of a slump at the moment. They have sustained injuries all through the season, but just in the last couple of weeks, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have gone down too. Pierce will almost certainly be back for this match, but there is still a big question mark over the health of Garnett. Without Garnett, the Celtics really struggle on the defensive end. He has been the anchor of the Boston defence since joining the team in 2008. For the benefit of this match, I really hope he is healthy and ready to go.
MATCH UP OF THE NIGHTEvery time Paul Pierce and LeBron James go head to head you know you're in for a treat. These two have had some great battles over the years and I expect that trend to continue in this match. Paul Pierce has lifted his game since Rajon Rondo went down with an ACL tear. He has taken on more responsibility in facilitating and has also upped his rebounding since Rondo's injury. Pierce has proven all his doubters wrong this season. Earlier in the season, Pierce was in a major slump, one that many people thought he wouldn't get out of. He certainly got out of it, and is in the midst of some of the best months of his great career. Lebron James has been doing what he has done throughout his whole career. James has been scoring, rebounding and assisting at an amazing rate and is one of, if not the most well-rounded player the NBA has ever seen. James takes advantage of any defender that is a split second behind him and is scoring a large portion of his points in the paint with drives to the basket. It will take a team effort from the Celtics to try and keep James under control, look for Jeff Green to defend him a lot throughout the game.
BENCH BATTLEBoth teams have had some big names out lately, and because of that bench players have needed to stand up. Let's take a look at who to watch out for coming of the bench. Ray Allen moving from Boston to Miami only added to the rivalry that was already at boiling point. One thing is for sure, Allen isn't the player he was when he won the Championship with Boston in 2008. Allen has been struggling all season to get into games. He can still bury threes, but not at the same efficiency that he is known for. Jordan Crawford is one of the more awkward looking players in the league. He has a strange style, but don't for a second think that it is a bad thing. Crawford looks to have found a home in Boston, and is clearly enjoying his time there a lot more than he did in Washington. Look for his explosive drives and underrated passing abilities. Shane Battier is the leading outside threat for the Heat, he averages 1.9 treys per game. In last years playoffs, Battier lifted his game and without him the Heat would've had a lot more trouble getting past the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. Jason Terry is still battling to find his groove. He has been streaky at best and is missing more wide open threes than Boston fans would care to remember. He has come through in the crunch time on a few occasions, but he hasn't lived up to the hype that he created for himself.
PREDICTED STARTING LINE UPSMiami Heat:
- Point guard: Mario Chalmers
- Shooting guard: Dwyane Wade
- Small forward: LeBron James
- Power forward: Udonis Haslem
- Centre: Chris Bosh
- Point guard: Avery Bradley
- Shooting guard: Courtney Lee
- Small forward: Paul Pierce
- Power forward: Jeff Green
- Centre: Kevin Garnett*