Five things to know about Miami Heat


Five things to know about Miami Heat

Once again, the Boston Celtics will face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics eliminated the Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers to get to this point, while the Heat knocked out the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers.

Here are five things to know about the Heat heading into the series:

1. Winning Big: The Heat have beat their opponents by an average of 9.91 points, second best in the NBA this postseason. They are averaging 95.5 points per game and holding their competition to 85.6.

2. Board Battle: One area the Heat have not had the edge on their opponents is on the boards. This postseason they have been out-rebounded, 41.1 to 39.6.

3. Dangerous Duo: LeBron James ranks second in scoring this postseason with 29.0 points per game. Wade holds the seventh spot with 23.8 points. Wade posted 41 points in their Game 6 win, and James scored 40 in Game 5.

4. Beware of pickpocketing: James and Wade are both riding steal streaks. Wade has grabbed at least one steal in 15 straight games while James has done so in 11.

5. The Century Mark: The Heat are 6-0 when scoring 100 points in the playoffs this season. The Celtics reached that mark half as many times.

Baynes confident he and Morris will provide physical play to Celtics frontcourt

Baynes confident he and Morris will provide physical play to Celtics frontcourt

BOSTON –  Aron Baynes doesn’t have to say a single word when he walks into a room.

Standing 6-foot-10, 260-pounds, his mere presence says a lot about his focus when he's on the floor which is to be a physical, tough guy.

And Boston’s other addition from Detroit, Marcus Morris?

He’s cut from the same cloth which is a good thing for the Celtics who could use a few more bangers in the frontcourt.

Baynes is confident that he and Morris will provide Boston with the kind of physical play it needs to build upon the success the team enjoyed last season.

“He’s got a great work ethic and I love the way he plays,” said Baynes, referring to Morris. “You know he brings a bit of toughness to it and yeah, I’ve always had fun playing with him and he played with our second unit a lot in Detroit and we always did good things when we were together on the court so I’m excited that he’s here as well and yeah, we look forward to bring some extra toughness.”

The Pistons didn’t have nearly as much success as Baynes or Morris would have wanted, but it certainly wasn’t due to their play on the floor together.

The duo formed Detroit’s best two-man unit defensively with a defensive rating of 93.5 - tops among all of Detroit’s two-man units which played at least 30 games together.

In addition, their offensive rebounding percentage of 22.2 and defensive rebounding percentage of 82.2 speaks to how they can be a force on the glass as well.

As a team last season, Boston’s offensive rebounding percentage was 21.2 which ranked 25th in the NBA, while their defensive rebounding percentage of 75.3 ranked 27th in the league.

While Morris doesn’t dispute the toughness he and Baynes can bring to the Celtics, it’s not something he spends much time thinking about.

“You know I don’t think that’s the thing you work on,” Morris said. “You just have to have that type of attitude and you know I think it’s just the NBA’s instilled in me to bring that toughness so I don’t think that’s something we’re going to have to worry about.”

And as far as Morris’ take on Baynes, he sees Baynes as – you got it – a tough competitor whose presence and play will help Boston this season.

“He’s a tough guy,” Morris said of Baynes. “At practice, he competes at the highest level every day. Since I’ve been in Detroit with him, he came and (brought) it and you know that’s the type of guy you want to play with and not against. So, I’m happy he’s on our team. I think he’s going to be a big, major piece for us.”