8 a.m. ET: Whoever plays will play, and the game will most likely be thrilling and chilling. We can only hope.
With Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh’s status all unclear, the Celtics and Heat will face off in Miami in a watered-down version of one of the NBA’s best rivalries. The Heat did not seem to miss a beat Wednesday without their stars, as Ray Allen came through to lead Miami to a win over the Wizards, but the Celtics have had far less success of late without their mainstays. Not even Garnett and Pierce’s presence could help Boston avoid a loss to the Nets on Wednesday.
Whether this turns out to be a star-studded affair or a glorified preseason game, there will be some pride on the line. Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, Shane Battier and others would surely like to prove they can beat another pretty good conference rival without their top players, even if said rival does not have its top players, either.
Join us for updates and analysis during the game, which tips off at 7:30 p.m. ET.