The Celtics and Heat are set to square off in about an hour on TNT, thank god. The longer I can go without having to hear Tommy Heinson’s voice the better. The Celtics are coming off a disappointing loss against the New York Knicks on Christmas day, and the Heat are coming off an impressive redemption win against the Mavericks as their 2011 Championship banner was raised to the rafters. It appears Paul Pierce won’t play again tonight, which is a huge loss for the Celtics. I did not get to watch any of the Christmas day game, but Rondo lead the Celtics with 31 points and 13 assists, having a very good game. I was not surprised that he played well. Rondo obviously can’t feel very secure being in Boston as they nearly traded him away in the offseason for Chris Paul, so it is in Rondo’s best interest that he plays at a very high level every game or he could be out the door. In my opinion, the Celtics know that Rondo is a pretty good player, but only if he has a supporting cast. With the big 3 nearing the end of their days in the NBA, the Celtics organization knows that in a few years, Rondo could be the only big name left in Boston (that is assuming you consider Rondo a big name). Chris Paul, as we all know, can at least keep a team afloat without a supporting cast, but I do not have much faith that Rondo could do the same. Look for Rondo to have another big game tonight with Pierce out, but for his efforts to come up small again. The Heat big 3 have a year under their belt now, and this year they could be a very scary team.
I also can’t believe Garnett did not get a suspension after grabbing Bill Walker’s neck at the end of the game on Christmas. It was totally unnecessary and something like that could easily have led to something more. With that being said, he will be playing tonight and don’t expect to see much of him. He has shown the most signs of aging of the Big 3, sustaining injuries the past two years that have forced him to miss significant time. It will be very interesting to see how these older teams deal with the plethora of back to back games this season, as the league is trying to fit as many games in as possible. Final score tonight will be Heat 100 Celtics 88, as the Heat will improve to 2-0 and the Celtics to 0-2. Happy New Year.