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BOSTON (CBS) – While Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett rest their ailing ankles on Friday night, the rest of the Boston Celtics will take on the Miami Heat — the best team in the NBA.
And while the Celtics are resting their star players with the postseason just four games away, the Heat will do no such thing.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — Miami’s own version of the Big 3 — will all suit up Friday night against Boston, and without the services of Pierce and Garnett, this one could get ugly for Boston fans.
Read: Celtics-Heat Preview
But with the seventh seed in the East all but locked up for Boston, the outcome of Friday night’s tilt in Miami won’t matter to the Celtics. Instead, they are taking advantage of an opportunity to rest their aging stars and give younger players the opportunity to try to earn some minutes when the playoffs hit.
So instead of watching for — or trying to avoid seeing — LeBron’s attempt at putting Jason Terry on another poster, watch to see if Terry can get his shot going against a team he dislikes greatly. Watch to see if Shavlik Randolph can keep up his strong rebounding (he’s averaging 5 per game in limited minutes). And watch to see if Jeff Green can get out of his mini slump against the same team he put up 43 points on last month.
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Friday night won’t be pretty basketball, and without Pierce and Garnett will likely result in a lopsided Miami victory.
But it’s not a bad way for a few players to take advantage of the extended minutes they’ll get against the best team in the league.