Tonight, the Celtics will face the biggest test of their season. They’ll be facing the Miami Heat with a roster that hardly–if at all–resmembles the team that the Celtics had in mind on the season’s opening day. Hell, they’ll even have a team that doesn’t resemble the roster that was in place at the end of January the last time these teams faced off.
When the Celtics won that double overtime thriller, Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa were on the team at the time. Avery Bradley had just recently returned a few games before and the team was playing their first game without their star point guard. Now, Avery Bradley is in rhythm, Sullinger and Barbosa are both gone–Sullinger due to injury–and Jordan Crawford and Terrence Williams have played meaningful minutes.
Tonight, they may face the Heat without Kevin Garnett as well. But that doesn’t mean that the Celtics will just lay down. If this season of Celtics basketball has shown us anything, its that this is a very resilient team. This team is full of great character guys that can mesh together on the floor. Garnett will be a huge loss, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
This Heat team will be coming into the TD Garden with a 22 game winning streak in pocket. That ties the second longest streak in NBA history. The other team that holds the second longest streak? The Houston Rockets 2007-08 team. That team’s streak was stopped by the future NBA champion Boston Celtics. These Cetlics are obviously a different squad, but the message is still the same. Never give up hope, play together, and play hard.