The NBA continues their Conference Finals on Friday night as the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics meet in Game 5 of their series. These two teams have met in four exciting matchups throughout their series, which should lead to another good one on Friday night. This game will tip off at around 8:30 PM Eastern time on ESPN.
Miami finished out the regular season with a record of 44-29, which put them in fifth place of the Eastern Conference. The Heat then eliminated the Indiana Pacers in four games. The Heat then faced the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round and knocked them off in five games. Now Miami finds themselves one game away from the NBA Finals.
The Celtics earned a record of 48-24 throughout the regular season. Boston earned the third seed in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics swept the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round, before meeting with the Toronto Raptors in the second round. Boston knocked off the Raptors in seven games. Now the Celtics need a big win to stay alive in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Heat are coming into Game 5 with a chance to book their spot in the NBA Finals. Miami has been able to finish these games strong, but it has been a tough battle every time. I expect the Celtics to come out strong in Game 5 as they look to avoid elimination. Boston needs to tighten up their game if they want to force a Game 6 on Sunday.
Game 1 of this series was back on September 15. Jayson Tatum dropped 30 points and 14 rebounds, while Marcus Smart scored 26 points. The Celtics still fell short though. Goran Dragic finished with 29 points, Jae Crowder scored another 22 points and Jimmy Butler dropped 20 points. The Heat were able to take a 1-0 series lead with a 117-114 win in overtime.
The second game of the series was on September 17. Kemba Walker scored 23 points, while Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both scored 21 points. Boston still could not earn the win. Goran Dragic dropped 25 points, while Bam Adebayo scored 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Heat pulled away with a 2-0 series lead. Miami earned a 106-101 win in Game 2.
Game 3 of this series was back on September 19. Bam Adebayo scored 27 points and 16 rebounds. Tyler Herro added another 22 points off the bench, which was not enough for the Heat. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart all scored 20 or more points as the Celtics finally broke through. Boston cut the series down to 2-1 with a 117-106 win.
The fourth game of the series was on September 23. Jayson Tatum scored 28 points, while Jaylen Brown dropped 21 points. Tyler Herro had a huge night, scoring 37 points off the bench. Jimmy Butler scored 24 points, while Goran Dragic finished with 22 points. Bam Adebayo added another 20 points and 12 rebounds as the Heat won 112-109 to take a 3-1 series lead.
Field Goal Shooting
Miami’s field goal shooting has been solid throughout this playoff run. The Heat have made around 45.2 percent of their shots from the field throughout the postseason. Miami has also been able to make around 36.2 percent of their shots from behind the arc. In this series, the Heat have made 43.3 percent of their shots from the field, while also shooting 32.5 percent from deep.
The Celtics have been a solid field goal shooting team this postseason. Boston has made around 45.6 percent of their shots from the field throughout this playoff run. The Celtics have also shot 34.4 percent from behind the arc, which is not great. Boston has made 47.4 percent of their shots from the field this series and 35.3 percent of their shots from deep.
These two teams have put up very similar shooting numbers throughout this postseason, but it has been the Celtics who have surprisingly shot better throughout this series. Boston’s defense has limited the Heats shooting chances throughout this series but need to finish stronger. Miami’s fourth quarter push has been very good, and Boston needs to find ways to slow them down.
Goran Dragic has had a nice postseason run, averaging 21.5 points per game. Jimmy Butler has averaged 21 points per game, while Bam Adebayo is averaging 18 points per game and 11.5 rebounds. Tyler Herro is averaging 16.5 points per game off the bench. Jae Crowder and Duncan Robinson help round out the lineup, averaging 12.5 points and 10.5 points respectively this postseason.
Jayson Tatum has been dominant throughout the playoffs, averaging 25.5 points and 10 rebounds per game. Jaylen Brown is averaging 21 points per game, while Kemba Walker has averaged 20 points per game. Marcus Smart has averaged 14.5 points per game and Gordon Hayward is averaging 10.5 points per game.
These two teams have had a nice spread of scoring throughout the postseason. Hayward has been filling in more since returning to the lineup, so look for him to step up in Game 5. The Heat have had different players step up every night, which has been a big reason they are here. Look for their lineup to get hot early to try and run away with it.
The Heat are coming off a big win in Game 4 of this series and now have a chance to book a spot in the NBA Finals. I believe that the Celtics will come out strong in this one though and force a Game 6. Boston has been the better team shooting from the field and have been in every loss this series. If the Celtics can put together a more complete game, I think they will earn a big win in Game 5.
BetOnline has Boston listed as a -3 against the spread in this one. This implies that the Celtics have a slight edge in this one. I agree with this line as I expect Boston to earn a big win on Friday night. Boston has looked good in this series and I do not expect them to go without a fight. I like the Celtics against the spread in Game 5 of this series.