Would anyone be surprised if the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat met in the playoffs? You really shouldn't be -- they've met twice in the last two postseasons. Of course, they wouldn't be doing so in the first round -- Boston avoided that nightmare by winning the Atlantic Division and locking up the No. 4 seed. Nevertheless, we'll get a preview of this potential playoff matchup as the two teams meet at 8 p.m. EST on Tuesday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA (TV/Radio: TNT/WEEI).
With practically everything wrapped up for the playoffs, minus home court advantage for the Celtics' first round series against the Atlanta Hawks, there isn't much to play for. The lineups will show it, as the Celtics are going to be without Ray Allen and possibly Mickael Pietrus, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Doc Rivers told media at Monday's practice that he expects Rondo to play Tuesday, and said Pierce and Garnett would play one of the final two games, but did not specify which one.
Miami will likely be without its Big Three of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James. Wade has a dislocated and Bosh has muscle fatigue in his legs. James is not injured, but with nothing left to play for, may sit. Of course, nothing is confirmed.
The Heat beat a shorthanded Celtics squad in the second game of the season, winning 115-107 despite a 28-point game from Allen and with Pierce on the sidelines. The results were different in the next two meetings, with Boston winning 91-72 on April 1 and 115-107 on April 10. A win for the Celtics on Tuesday would give them the season series victory for the fifth straight year.