Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat

Kyrie Irving will lead his Boston Celtics into hostile territory to take on Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat on Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:30 PM EST at American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL. The broadcast is available on NBATV, NBC Sports Boston, and Fox Sports Sun; radio is available via 98.5 The Sports Hub and 790 The Ticket / S: WAQI 710 AM.

How to Watch

What: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat

Where: American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL

When: Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): NBATV, NBC Sports Boston, Fox Sports Sun | 98.5 The Sports Hub, 790 The Ticket / S: WAQI 710 AM

Boston Celtics (Away)

Head Coach: Brad Stevens {All-Time 267-221 | BOS}

Projected Starting Five: (G) Kyrie Irving - (G) Marcus Smart - (F) Jayson Tatum - (F) Al Horford - (C) Aron Baynes

The Boston Celtics have clinched their position in the NBA Playoffs but aren't in the clear as positioning is still up for grabs. They own a record of 46-32, tying them with the Indiana Pacers but giving them fourth place due to their standing in the season series. Every game is important in preserving home court advantage.

The Boston Celtics have been working hard in recent games, but their difficult schedule has prevented them from going on any significant run. They are 5-5 in their last ten games and only recently began climbing back from a four-game losing streak. They must be locked-in against the dangerous Miami Heat.

The Boston Celtics won the first leg of this late-season home-and-home but will have to put forward an even more impressive effort to defeat the playoff-chasing Heat. It was an offensive battle between point guards that Dragic won, but the Celtics will need to slow the Slovenian if they want to take this match.

Miami Heat (Home)

Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra {All-Time 522-359 | MIA}

Projected Starting Five: (G) Goran Dragic - (G) Dion Waiters - (F) Derrick Jones - (F) Kelly Olynyk - (C) Bam Adebayo

After suffering a recent loss to the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat have fallen to eighth in the Eastern Conference. They own a record of 38-39, which is only a half game above their state rivals the Orlando Magic. The experience on the Heat suggests they should be composed enough to make the playoffs, but their competition suggests they'll have a tough time holding on to the spot.

The Miami Heat have done their best to stay relevant in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but a tough road has slowed their progress. They are 6-4 in their last ten games but have struggled against the best competition with losses to the Bucks, Celtics, and Magic.

The Miami Heat couldn't stop the Celtics' combined efforts in their last match. It was a gritty 110-105 victory for the Celtics which the Heat are sure to want to avenge. Another loss would leave them out of the playoffs, so a win is crucial.

What's At Stake?

The Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics don't have the most competitive all-time series. In 119 regular season games, the Celtics lead the Heat 72-47.

A win for the Celtics would give them a 0.5 game lead over the Indiana Pacers who match their record.

A win for the Miami Heat would stave off the Orlando Magic and keep them in eighth with a one-game lead over their rivals.

Questions to answer

Can Al Horford replicate his brilliance?

How can the Heat make up for their injuries?

We are going to compare the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Horford Posted A Triple-Double Last Meeting

For all of the Celtics inefficiencies in their last meeting, two things carried them over the finish line. A 43% shooting night from three and a triple-double performance from Al Horford made up for the Celtics' shortcomings. Whether or not he can replicate that performance will be key in the Celtics success.

A large reason why the Celtics needed Horford's triple-double night in their last game was due to their lack of contribution from the bench. The Celtics bench unit shot a combined 9-26 and contributed very little to the game overall. While another spectacular performance from Horford would be nice, less burden on him would be valued if the Celtics reserves could support him better.

The key assets that Horford provides to the Celtics are his defensive ability and passing from the high-post. He is regularly the main playmaker out of the high-post for the Celtics, which is key in drawing out shot-blockers Bam Adebayo and Hassan Whiteside. Horford just needs to take the attention of the Celtics' defense, if they hope to snag another win.

The Heat Are Missing Four Key Players

The Miami Heat are a dangerous veteran team. While their play has been overshadowed by Dwyane Wade's farewell tour, the Heat have quietly found their way back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture. In their next match against the Celtics though, they will likely be missing key players again.

The Heat have gone through a number of lineup changes this year, but none at a more crucial time than now. Both Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow are likely out for their next match, and they have been their most valuable contributors this season.

The Heat played a brilliant game in their last match, but they failed to take home the win. Their offense was respectable, shooting 46% from the field, but a 27% shooting night from three limited their ability to take advantage of the Celtics. They will need better shooting in this second-leg.

Boston Celtics Roster Notes

F Jaylen Brown - 1 Apr 2019 - Day To Day (Back) - Brown has been ruled OUT for Monday's (Apr. 1) game.

Miami Heat Roster Notes

F Derrick Jones - 1 Apr 2019 - Day To Day (Knee) - Jones left Monday's (April 1) game with a right knee injury and will not return.

F Rodney McGruder - 29 Mar 2019 - Day To Day (Left Knee Soreness) - McGruder is listed as out for the next two games.

G Josh Richardson - 29 Mar 2019 - Day To Day (Heel) - Richardson is listed as OUT for the next two games

G-F Justise Winslow - 29 Mar 2019 - Day To Day (Thigh) - Winslow is listed as OUT for the next two games.

Head-to-Head: Kyrie Irving (BOS) vs Goran Dragic (MIA)

Goran Dragic and Kyrie Irving put on a show in their last match against each other. Both were leaders for their clubs and showed that both are dangerous options should they ever meet in the playoffs. They will look to replicate their performances, as both teams lack key pieces.

Kyrie Irving

Point Guard | 6-3, 193lb (190cm, 87kg) | Duke | Exp. 7 Years

24.0 PPG | 7.0 APG | 5.1 RPG | 1.6 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 2.6 TOV | .488 FG% | .399 3P%

Kyrie Irving was brilliant in his last match if not inefficient. While Irving posted an impressive 25 points and 8 rebounds, the Celtics point guard also contributed 6 turnovers while shooting a paltry 7-19 from the floor. The Celtics will need a more focused effort from him, if they want to overcome this tough Heat squad.

Goran Dragic

Point Guard | 6-3, 190lb (190cm, 86kg) | Slovenia | Exp. 10 Years

14.6 PPG | 4.5 APG | 3.0 RPG | 0.7 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 2.0 TOV | .432 FG% | .356 3P%

Goran Dragic is back and he is a man on a mission. In his last match against the Celtics, Dragic put on one of his best performances of the year. Dragic contributed 30 points, 5 assists, and 5 steals in his last match, but still couldn't pull off a win. With so many missing pieces on the Heat side, a perfect game from Dragic must be coupled with a valuable team effort.

Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Boston Celtics favored over the Miami Heat by 1, with the Boston Celtics at a -113 and the Miami Heat at a -105.

The Moneyline is as follows:

Boston Celtics: -113

Miami Heat: -105

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