The powers-that-be have to be loving the Eastern Conferencefinals matchup between Miami and Boston, two of the leagues marquee teams. TheHeat eliminated the Celtics in last years Eastern Conference semifinals injust five games, but this year circumstances are different.Miamis Chris Bosh is injured and his status is unknown. Andthe Celtics are healthier and more together than a year ago.Why the Heat will win: LeBron James has beenterrific in the postseason and Dwyane Wade is coming off three consecutiveimpressive games.They are simply too young, too athletic and too talented tobe contained by the Celtics. Bosh is out indefinitely with a lower abdominalstrain, but he could return by the end of the series.Defensively, the Heat have an edge, and thats not often thecase when you go up against Boston.How Celtics can win: Kevin Garnett verywell may hold the key to the series. Ever since coach Doc Rivers moved Garnettto center, the Celtics have become a different team.Garnett, of course, is a different kind of center: one whodoes a lot of damage from the perimeter. But against the undersized Heat,Garnett has an opportunity to control the series.Insiders intangible: James is one of thebest defenders in the league whether its guarding someone on the perimeteror on the post. Theres a chance that at some times in this series, James willhave to defend Rajon Rondo. If thats the case, Rondo is going to have his workcut out for him. And if Rondo struggles, the Celtics often struggle.Prediction: Heat in 7.
Programming note: Warriors-Pelicans coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area.
On Friday morning, the Warriors announced that Draymond Green is going to play on Friday night against the Pelicans.
After shootaround, Draymond talked about the left knee strain he sustained on Tuesday.
"It didn't lock up. I tweaked it. I was concerned. I honestly thought it was my meniscus. It was a big relief," Draymond told reporters in New Orleans. "The next day when I woke up, the pain was a little better.
"As that day went on -- once I got the MRI, I got it early - -and then I went and got treatment and it felt a lot better.
"I hadn't even got the results but I was pretty confident at that point."
Draymond sustained the injury late in the third quarter against Houston and did not play in the fourth quarter.
He registered nine points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists before exiting.
Draymond Green initially feared it was a more serious knee issue: "Thought it was my meniscus." pic.twitter.com/SxuW66rJh3— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 20, 2017
UPDATE (9:40am on Friday morning) -- Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala will play tonight against the Pelicans, the Warriors announced.
The Draymond Green injury scare appears to be nothing more than that.
One day after undergoing an MRI test on his left knee and finding no structural damage, the power forward practiced with the Warriors upon arrival in New Orleans Thursday afternoon.
Green was immediately upgraded from doubtful to probable for the game against the Pelicans on Friday night at Smoothie King Center.
Forward Andre Iguodala, who missed the season opener Tuesday, also is on track to be available. He participated in practice Wednesday and agains Thursday in New Orleans and was upgraded from questionable to probable.
Meanwhile, forward Omri Casspi, was downgraded from questionable to out. After spraining his right ankle in the preseason finale last Friday, he sprained his left ankle in the season opener.