Matchup: Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat
Records: Celtics (25-15), Heat (19-20)
Where to Watch
Date: Friday, Jan. 11
Time: 5:30 AM IST
TV: Sony Ten1
Location: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
After defeating the Indiana Pacers (the East's third seed) by 27 points, Kyrie Irving mentions how instrumental the team meeting after the loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 21 was key to the team's recent form.
Since that reported meeting, the Celtics have gone 7-2, tied for the best record in the league including their current 4-game win streak.
For the season, the Celtics are tied for the second-best defense in the league (104.1) and thus, has the league's second-best net rating (6.8). Despite those amazing numbers, in a top-heavy East, Boston is fifth in the Conference standings.
Their 7-8 record in November has got a lot to do with that. Just like Miami, the Celtics are at full strength apart from missing center Aron Baynes.
Coming to the Heat, they are missing their point guard Goran Dragic but they did welcome Dion Waiters back to the line-up recently.
Despite a sub-.500 record, the Heat are in Playoff position as the seventh seed in the East. A large part of their season has been highlighted by it being the final year for 3-time NBA Champion Dwyane Wade.
The jersey swapping has now become a tradition after every Heat game. Here's the latest one:
Game recognize game.#MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/3ZiXX6RjXr- Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) January 9, 2019
With their offense ranked 22nd in the league, Miami relies heavily on their defense - ranked 7th. In this offense heavily league, the Heat have restricted their opponents to under 100 in 12 of their 19 wins, which says a lot of the team's defensive system.
- The Miami Heat will be playing their 22nd home game this season. Among the previous 21, they have only won 9, making them the only team in the current East Playoff standings to have a losing record at home.
- The Boston Celtics have a 10-10 record through their 20 previous road games this season.
- This is the Celtics' seventh back-to-back this season. They have gone 2-4 on the second night of their six previous back-to-backs this season.
- Both teams are set to miss two players each. For Miami, it's Goran Dragic (Knee) and Yante Maten (Ankle) while for the Celtics' it's Aron Baynes (Hand) and Jabari Bird.
Last Time They Played
Date: Dec. 21, 2017
Score: Heat 90-89 Celtics
Heat: Kelly Olynyk - 32 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists on 80.0% shooting.
Celtics: Kyrie Irving - 33 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds on 45.8% shooting.