Posted April 23, 2012 on AP on Fox
For both the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, resting stars appears to be the priority over any possible improvement in postseason positioning. The Celtics, though, could have a bit more help Tuesday night as they try for a third win this month over the Heat, who may be without LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Miami only has a slim chance of catching Chicago for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but Boston has a better shot of getting home-court advantage in its first-round series against Atlanta. The Celtics (37-27) still opted to rest Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen in Friday's 97-92 loss to the Hawks. Pierce and Garnett could return Tuesday, but Allen (ankle) and Rondo (back) remain day-to-day with injuries. Allen, who has missed seven straight games, sat out Monday's practice along with Rondo, Mickael Pietrus and Greg Stiemsma. "If I thought our guys were banged up, I'd sit them. That's not even a question for me," coach Doc Rivers told the Celtics' official website. "I'm taking rest and rhythm over home court." While Boston has the No. 4 seed in the East via the Atlantic Division title, it needs to gain a game on fifth-seeded Atlanta over the final two contests in order to start the postseason at home. The Heat (46-18) would need to win twice and have the Bulls lose two to get the No. 1 spot, a scenario that seems unlikely with Chicago hosting Cleveland in its finale Thursday. Miami has not said how it will proceed after it bounced back from a tough loss to Washington on Saturday with a 97-88 victory Sunday against Houston. Wade and Bosh sat out along with Mario Chalmers (flu) and Ronny Turiaf (hamstring). Bosh has missed the last four games with muscle fatigue in his legs, while Wade dislocated his left index finger Saturday. James rested Saturday, but had 32 points, eight rebounds and five assists Sunday. It's unclear if he'll play in the final two games. "Everything from here on out will be a daily decision," coach Erik Spoelstra said. The Heat are feeling confident with James capping an impressive season Spoelstra believes should earn him his third MVP. James is averaging 27.1 points and has scored at least 30 six times this month. "Every night I try to go out and be the MVP for our team," James said. "Individual accolades take care of themselves. All I care about is team success and making my teammates happy." He had 36 points April 10 against the Celtics, but Boston won 115-107 in Miami. The Celtics have won both meetings this month after the Heat won 115-107 on Dec. 27. Another victory for the Celtics may help them pull even with Atlanta, which hosts the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. Boston has the tiebreaker over the Hawks. "Home court is great; you want to have home court," Pierce said. "You want to try to play for home court, but at the end of the day you want to be healthy first. "I mean, we're definitely a better home team than we are a road team, but at this point we feel like if we're healthy we have a chance in anybody's building. We've shown we can beat anybody in the Eastern Conference in their building." The Celtics look especially formidable after the emergence of Avery Bradley, who has started 16 of the last 17 games with Allen banged up. The second-year guard is averaging 15.5 points in that stretch after scoring a career-high 28 on Friday.

Ray Allen out tomorrow, could play Thursday & other practice notes

Twitter / @ChrisMannixSI: Doc Rivers says Ray Allen ... via kwout I'm not sure what to make of this anymore.  Ray Allen's ankle will hold him out at least one more game.  It would be nice if the ankle was strong enough to get at least one more game in before the playoffs.   Meanwhile, Rajon Rondo, Mickael Pietrus, and Greg Stiemsma all also...

Four injured Celtics all miss shootaround; Pietrus out tonight for sure

All four injured Celtics — Rajon Rondo, Mickael Pietrus, Greg Stiemsma and Ray Allen — missed shootaround this morning as the Celtics prepared to meet the Miami Heat on national television, according to CSNNE’s A. Sherrod Blakely.Though I assume TNT people aren’t overly excited to hear that at least half of Boston’s top eight players will miss tonight’s game, Doc Rivers...

Daniels making the most of additional playing time

Boston HeraldGiven the benefit of playing time against the Hawks, Daniels came off the bench with season-high totals in points (12), rebounds (eight) and a career-high four steals. “He was terrific,” said Rivers. “The best game he may have played this year. He was terrific, and he did a lot of things. The little baskets and the rebounds — he had eight rebounds. It was good...

CLNS Post Game Show: Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics, immediately following the game

CLNS Radio’s season long initiative to cover every Boston Celtics game, continues tonight as the Miami Heat travel to TD Garden. Can you believe it’s the last week of the regular season? Tonight Matt Rury will be joined by Nick Gelso and Sean Bakke, in the virtual studio. The guys will go live, immediately following [...]

Recap: Celtics scrubs beat Heat scrubs in scrubby game

Sasha Pavlovic's hot shooting propelled the Celtics to a 78-66 win over the Miami Heat. I repeat, Sasha Pavolvic's hot shooting propelled the Celtics to a victory. Sasha had 12 of his 16 points in the 4th quarter as Boston outscored Miami 28-16. The C's scored more points in the 4th quarter than they did in the entire 1st half. In case you were in a coma all day...

Celtics Win 3rd Straight Against the Heat, 78-66

Tonight’s game between the Celtics and the Heat could have been a preview of a future match-up between these two franchises later in the playoffs. But with little to play for, both coaches decided to rest their stars and the game ended up as more of a pre-season or Summer League game with the bench [...]

Kevin Garnett added to long Boston Celtics injury list; Rondo, Pietrus, Allen, Stiemsma also out against Heat

BOSTON — As Doc Rivers mentioned Tuesday before the Boston Celtics meet the Miami Heat, it’s easier to say who is playing for the Celtics during these dog days at the end of the zany lockout season, rather than trying to rattle off all the stars who won’t suit up. And so it took just one first [...]

Kevin Garnett, Ryan Hollins (?) among NBA’s dirtiest players, according to SI poll

When I think of Kevin Garnett, impeccable post footwork, unselfishness, endangered basket stanchions, silky midrange jumpers, streams of unfiltered cuss words, bulging veins and occasionally misplaced (or, more likely, well-placed) elbows come to mind. When I think of Ryan Hollins, my mind skips immediately to rebounding, or rather a frustrating lack thereof, alley-oops, underrated...

NBA Update: ABC, TNT, Earn Good Numbers For Heat Games

The Miami Heat helped ABC and TNT to strong numbers during the penultimate week of the lockout-shortened NBA season. The April 15 Heat/Knicks NBA regular season game drew a 2.8 final rating and 4.088 million viewers on ABC. There was no game on the comparable date last year. Later in the day, Mavericks/Lakers drew a 3.0 and 4.490 million. Through Thursday, eleven of the fifteen most...

Celtics 78, Heat 66: I bet TNT’s really happy it televised that

Before the Boston Celtics scored a single bucket, they had shot and missed eight different times, Paul Pierce had registered four turnovers and Kevin Garnett, sitting and watching somewhere else, preferably inside a cage and with handcuffs keeping him in control, may or may not have considered defriending Ryan Hollins, like a real-life version of Facebook.Pierce finally drilled...

Bradley Leads C’s Through Injury Bug

With Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett all forced to miss time due to injuries down the stretch, second-year guard Avery Bradley has stepped his game up to a whole new level.  Because of his strong play, expect him to be a factor off the bench for the C’s in the playoffs.  On Friday against the Atlanta Hawks, with home-court advantage at stake, Avery Bradley was...

Stiemsma, Ray definitely out tonight

Greg Stiemsma's been battling foot issues for a while now, so this is no surprise.  A. Sherrod Blakely reports Stiemsma is joining Ray Allen on the bench tonight for sure. Rondo was considered possible for tonight, but there were some conflicting reports out of practice.  One report from CSNNE's Carolyn Manno was that Rondo is suffering back spasms and he wasn'...

Heat reserves fall to Celtics, won't get 1-seed

BOSTON (AP) -- Sasha Pavlovic scored 12 of his of his season-high 16 points in the fourth quarter, leading a group of Boston Celtics reserves in a 78-66 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night as both teams rested their top players. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were out for the Heat. Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo didn't play for the Celtics. Dexter Pittman...

NBA Playoffs: Five BIG Questions in the Eastern Conference

With the NBA playoffs just a few days away, let’s discuss five big questions in the Eastern Conference. 5. Will Dwyane Wade’s dislocated finger hurt the Miami Heat? A dislocated finger might not seem like a big deal, but it can be a nagging, frustrating injury. Wade dislocated his finger this past weekend and I think it could hamper his performance some. The good thing is that...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.