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Inside the NBA: Game of the week

Boston plays at Miami on Sunday.

April 09, 2011|By Mark Heisler
  • Forwards LeBron James of the Heat and Paul Pierce of the Celtics will lead their teams into an Eastern Conference showdown on Sunday afternoon.
Forwards LeBron James of the Heat and Paul Pierce of the Celtics will lead… (Jim Rogash / Getty Images )

BOSTON AT MIAMI: Sunday at 12:30 p.m. PDT. TV: Channel 7.

At this point, you can't tell who might mail in games, unless you're talking about the Lakers, who just mailed in last week.

The Celtics are back in we're-preserving-our-players mode … which is what they always say when the losses mount.

Nevertheless, this is tantamount to a playoff game, all but settling No. 2 in the East … and home court if they meet in the second round, as expected.

It will be interesting to see whether Shaquille O'Neal plays, having pulled a calf muscle a week ago after a two-month absence with an Achilles' tendon strain.

It will also be interesting to see whether the Heat plays off struggling Rajon Rondo, daring him to shoot, and if Rondo guards LeBron James, who doesn't like going in the post.

Hey, it'll be interesting period.

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