Celtics

Morning Skate: Tuesday, April 24

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Morning Skate: Tuesday, April 24

USA Todays Kevin Allen sits down with Brendan Shanahan and picks the brain of the NHL Sheriff on a number of disciplinary topics.

Ryan Kesler may have finished the playoffs with a shoulder injury. No word on whether it was during one of his patented dive roll embellishments looking for a whistle.

David Backes is a candidate for the Selke Trophy along with Patrice Bergeron, and could be a dark horse candidate for the surprising St. Louis Blues.

The Florida Panthers president gets into a battle royale with New Jersey Devils fans on twitter.

Mike Brophy has a nice piece on Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick as he begins to make a name for himself during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Chris Botta says there is little substance to a rumor about asbestos problems at Nassau Coliseum that I actually remember hearing during our last trip to the Island this season.

James Mirtle talks about a changing of the guard with the perennial playoff heavyweights as many of the name teams are already falling by the wayside in the first round.

Mike Gillis actually admits that the Vancouver Canucks were never able to properly prepare themselves mentally after winning the regular season game against the Bruins back in nearly January. Can you say mentally soft hockey club? I knew you could.

For something completely different: Kevin Youkilis and Tom Bradys sister tie the knot last week in a dream match for Boston sports fans.

WATCH: Celtics vs. Heat

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WATCH: Celtics vs. Heat

Tune into NBC Sports Boston to watch the Celtics play the Heat in Miami. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by Nissan on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game preview: Will Celtics be drained by emotional comeback win Monday in Dallas?

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

[SHOP: Gear up, Celtics fans!]

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Celtics-Heat preview: Will Celts be drained by emotional win in Dallas?

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Celtics-Heat preview: Will Celts be drained by emotional win in Dallas?

The Boston Celtics remain a team whose collective talents are far more valuable than their individual abilities.

But there are going to be nights when someone has to shoulder a larger burden of the team in order to win. More often than not, that “one” will likely be No. 11, Kyrie Irving. 

We saw in Dallas what can happen when Irving feels he has little choice but to put the team on his back and carry them to victory. 

The Celtics were desperate for a spark against the Mavericks and found it in Irving, who scored 47 points in leading the Celtics to a come-from-behind 110-102 overtime win. 

It remains to be seen if the Celtics will require a similar Herculean effort tonight when they take the Miami Heat with a chance to extend their winning streak to 17 straight. 

This team isn’t one to dwell on success in the past, even if the past was just 24 hours ago. But there’s no getting around how what happened on Monday night might impact what we see against the Heat. 

Boston expended a tremendous amount of energy in rallying from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter at Dallas, the kind of effort that may be difficult to replicate against a Miami team that you can count on to play hard from the opening tip to the final horn. 

Irving’s performance was one of the rare instances this season when Boston clearly could not have won without their top scorer having a big game. 

“When we needed it most, he made big shot after big shot,” said Al Horford. “He had such good rhythm, I was thinking, ‘just let him keep it going.’ He just kept being aggressive, taking really good shots. He recognized he needed to be extra aggressive, especially at the end and score the ball for us.”

Scoring could potentially be at a premium against Miami which allows 102.5 points per game which ranks ninth in the league in fewest points allowed. Also, the Heat will test Boston’s perimeter defenders. Miami comes into tonight’s game averaging 11.1 made 3-pointers per game which ranks ninth in the NBA. 

The Heat are led by Goran Dragic who is averaging team highs in scoring (18.3 points) and assists (4.7) this season. 

These two squared off earlier this season in Miami with the Celtics coming away with a 96-90 win as Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum led the way with 24 and 20 points, respectively. In that game, the Heat were without starting center Hassan Whiteside, who will be in the lineup tonight as the Heat try to bounce back after losing three of its last four games.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE