Three things to keep in mind as the C’s mix it up with LeBron and Co. tonight (7, CSN):
Who ever expected this?
It wasn’t that long ago — the mid-March trade deadline actually — that people were calling for Danny Ainge to unload everybody and plan for next season. He didn’t, and instead stood firm. At the time, the C’s were playing for one of the last postseason spots. Now? They’re sitting comfortably as the No. 4 seed and are just two games out of the third seed.
Heat hot at home
The C’s crushed the Heat in Boston back on April 1, 91-72. You can be sure that won’t be the case tonight in Miami. For one, the Heat are the best NBA team at home this season with a record of 24-3. They were embarrassed by the way they played in Boston, and that loss is still fresh in their minds. Secondly, as good as the C’s played that game, the Heat missed wide — WIDE — open shots throughout. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade combined to shoot 8-for-28.
Don’t look ahead
Tonight kicks off the C’s last string of games — a grueling stretch that includes 10 games in the final 17 days of the season. It’s all hands on deck now, and with a depleted bench it won’t be easy. Ray Allen has the right attitude in taking a bench role for Avery Bradley. Both players will still get 25-plus minutes of playing time. Size down low is still an issue, but Kevin Garnett has done more than enough to make up for it.