The NBA is filled with another exciting day of action as the Eastern Conference Finals are underway. The Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics will meet in Game 2 of their series as both teams look to earn a huge win. These teams have had great runs to the Conference Finals, which should translate to a great series. This game will tip off at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
The Heat finished out the regular season with a record of 44-29, which put them in fifth place of the Eastern Conference. Miami met up with the Indiana Pacers in the first round and knocked them off in four games. The Heat then faced the Milwaukee Bucks, who they knocked off in five games. Miami will now look to take a 2-0 series lead with a win in Game 2.
Boston earned a record of 48-24 throughout the regular season, which earned them the third seed in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics swept the Philadelphia 76ers in four games before meeting the Toronto Raptors in the second round. Boston knocked off the Raptors after a tough seven game series. The Celtics now will look to tie up this series with a win on Thursday night.
These two teams played a great Game 1 and I expect it to continue in Game 2. The Celtics find themselves down early in the series, but have a good chance to tie it up on Thursday. I expect both teams to try and control the pace early as they get deeper into the series. This should be another good one in Game 2.
The Heat and the Celtics met up twice throughout the regular season before the pause. The first game was in Boston on December 4. Jaylen Brown dropped 31 points, while Kemba Walker scored 28 points. The Celtics won 112-93 in the first matchup. The second game was in Miami, where Gordon Hayward dropped 29 points. Boston finished with a 109-101 win on the road.
These two teams met up again in the bubble on August 4. Jayson Tatum dropped 23 points, while Jaylen Brown scored 18 points and 10 rebounds. Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson each scored 21 points. Goran Dragic finished with another 20 points off the bench. The Heat were able to run away with a strong 112-106 win.
Game 1 of this series was back on September 15. Jayson Tatum dropped 30 points and 14 rebounds, while Marcus Smart scored 26 points. It was not enough though as the Celtics lost. Goran Dragic scored 29 points and Jae Crowder dropped 22 points. Jimmy Butler put up another 20 points as the Heat won 117-114 in overtime to take Game 1 of the series.
These two teams met up three times throughout the regular season. The Celtics took the first two games of the season series, but lost the final one in the bubble. Miami also pulled off the upset in Game 1 of this series. The Heat will look to build off the momentum of their comeback win in the first matchup, while Boston will look to bounce back.
Field Goal Shooting
Miami have been solid when it comes to shooting from the field throughout this series. The Heat have capitalized on 46.2 percent of their shots from the field, which is third best of the remaining playoff teams. Miami has also made 38.6 percent of their shots from deep, which is second best of the remaining playoff teams.
The Celtics have not been the best team when it comes to shooting from the field in the playoffs. Boston has been able to make around 44.9 percent of their shots from the field, which is ninth among the original sixteen playoff teams. The Celtics have also made 34.2 percent of their shots from deep, which is fourth worst in the original sixteen playoff teams.
Boston’s defense has been solid throughout this playoff run. The Celtics will look to shut down the Heat a bit more throughout this series. Miami was able to break through in overtime, but Boston had their number for most of the game. If the Celtics bench can provide a bit more of a push, it could really help them tie up this series.
Goran Dragic has averaged 22 points per game throughout this playoff run. Jimmy Butler is averaging 21.5 points per game and 5.5 rebounds. Bam Adebayo has averaged 16.5 points and 11 rebounds per game in the postseason as well. Tyler Herro has averaged 14.5 points per game off the bench, while Jae Crowder is averaging 13.5 points per game. Duncan Robinson rounds out the lineup, averaging 10 points per game.
Jayson Tatum has been a big leader for the Celtics in this postseason run. Tatum has averaged 25.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Jaylen Brown is averaging 20.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Kemba Walker has averaged 19.5 points per game, while Marcus Smart is averaging 14 points per game to round out this lineup.
For the first time since the first round, Gordon Hayward is not listed as out for this game. Hayward is still doubtful, but could be returning to this series. If the Celtics add Hayward back, it will help improve their lineup going forward. The Heat have seen some young players step up in this run and will need them to continue contributing if Miami wants to make a run to the Finals.
The Heat have a strong 1-0 series lead so far, but I expect the Celtics to bounce back with a win to tie up the series. Boston’s defense has been leading them throughout the playoffs and I expect them to step up as we get deeper into the series. The Celtics have seen a great postseason from Jayson Tatum, but they need some others to step up in Game 2.
BetOnline has Boston listed as a -2 ½ against the spread in Game 2 of the series. This implies that the Celtics are slight favorites to win this game. I believe that this line is right. Boston looked good in Game 1, but fell short in overtime. I expect the Celtics to bounce back in this one as they try and even up the series on Thursday night.