In a rematch of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals Dave Gray thinks the Miami Heat can power their way past the Boston Celtics on Wednesday...
"Boston have given up 37.4% of threes in their past three games, something Miami can certainly take advantage of."
Boston Celtics @ Miami Dolphins
Wednesday, 01:00 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Arena
Smart injury could be the difference
The injuries are really becoming an issue for the Celtics. Already without Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart is now dealing with a thumb injury. They coped perfectly well on Monday against the Raptors, but the Heat are a much different and stronger test right now.
Jayson Tatum was phenomenal in that game. He came up just short of a new career high as he put up 40 points. He made 11 of 19 shots and was a perfect 13 of 13 on free throws. It did come up against a Raptors defence that has been poor this season, but Tatum really is a superb talent that is continuing to improve. Rookie Payton Pritchard also came up big with 23 points and eight assists.
As good as the Celtics have been on offence, they have really struggled on defence. The loss of Smart will really hit them there as well. They have given up 37.4% of threes in their past three games, something Miami can certainly take advantage of.
Heat must build on aggressive defence
In their run to the finals last season theHeat were so consistent. Even as the injuries piled up they found a way to play well every night. They have not got there yet this season. They have had a very tough start, though, and as things ease up they should be able to go on a run.
Defensively they have done very well so far. They are a really aggressive team and they will need to be here if they want to slow down Tatum. As always for Miami, Bam Adebayo will be a key man at that end of the court.
A big part of the Heat's success last season was three point shooting. The Heat have not reached those highs yet but tonight could be the night as they face a struggling Boston defence. It could ultimately be the difference between two teams that look destined to collide in the playoffs once again.
Heat can take advantage of Celtics' injuries
I really like this Celtics team this season. I think they can go a long way, assuming they find a way to improve on defence. But the injuries just swing this one in Miami's favour. I think we will see big night from the likes of Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson as they shoot their way past Boston.