MIAMI — Unfortunately for Celtics coach Doc Rivers, Miami counterpart Erik Spoelstra is not resting his starters for Friday’s clash.
Spoelstra said all of his Big Three will play — with Dwyane Wade returning after a six-game absence to rest his right knee, LeBron James back after missing three of the past five games to rest sore hamstrings, and Chris Bosh returning after a three-game break to rest his knees.
Spoelstra said, though, that Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier will be rested.
For the Celtics, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will not play; they did not appear at the media portion of shootaround.
The Celtics need one win or a Milwaukee Bucks loss to clinch the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
This will be the first game James has played against the Celtics since president of basketball operations Danny Ainge called it “almost embarrassing” for James to complain about officiating and Heat president Pat Riley responded by telling Ainge to “shut the [expletive] up.”
James had expressed frustration about the officiating after the Heat’s 27-game winning streak ended with a loss to the Bulls late last month.Gary Washburn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @gwashNBAGlobe.