Boston Celtics at Miami Heat -8 (Total: 179)
Will he or won’t he? It’s the question everyone is asking and it is the buzz of speculation all over the Internet.
Will Chris Bosh make his much anticipated return tonight for a pivotal Game Five which might have the season, and the long-term fate of Miami’s Big Three, hanging in the balance?
My take? When there is a ton of smoke, there’s usually a fire. Unless this is some grand psychological ploy to get inside the Boston Celtics’ head (which wouldn’t likely be too effective), I’d say there is a real good chance Chris Bosh is suiting up tonight. The next question is, will it be the miracle cure-all many are expecting it to be? Will he come in and immediately neturalize Kevin Garnett, or will the be some inevitible rust he will have to play through, allowing the Celtics a counter-intuitive advantage by his presence??
Spolestra has gone on the record numerous times, and did so again yesterday, calling Chris Bosh “the Heat’s most important player.” Perhaps the fact that the Heat are 12-11 without him over the last two seasons, including 5-4 since his injury in the Pacers series this Playoffs. His return is undoubtedly a good thing, and I am not foolish or reactionary enough to even insinuate the Heat are better off with the Joel Anthony/Ronny Turiaf combo than they are with Bosh. But there is a very realistic adjustment that will need to take place upon his return. The Heat have gotten used to playing the two-man scoring barrage strategy of Lebron and Wade running wild. Will they seamlessly adjust to having their third option – and perhaps the most exploitable advantage, or will it take a game or two, just as it did when they were adjusting to playing without him in the Indiana series?
I think the Heat win tonight, but I am not easily persuaded to throw dirt on the Boston Celtics quite yet. Eight points is a pretty bug margin in Game Five of a tied playoff series, regardless of who is playing at home. The Celtics and Heat have slugged it out for the last three games, twice going to overtime. It has been a hard-fought, physical and highly competitive series. I have no reason to think Game Five will provide anything different than another tense slugfest. For that reason, I am going with Boston tonight. I think the Heat get the win at home, but give me Boston plus the eight points.
Free Pick: Boston Celtics +8