Heat (37-31, 17-16 road) at Celtics (35-33, 21-14 home)
- Time: 4:30PM PST – 6:30PM CST – 7:30PM EST
- Place: TD Garden, Boston, MA
- TV: TNT | Bally Sports South | NBC Sports Boston | NBA League Pass
The Miami Heat play their second game at the Boston Celtics in three days after claiming a 130-124 lead on Sunday.
The Heat are on a major role as they have won five out of their last six games and seven out of their last nine contests en route to take over the 6-seed. A win over the Celtics this evening would all but lock down the six and push Boston into the play-in round as Miami would have a three-game lead with three remaining games.
The Celtics have swooned again in losing three out of their last four contests as they have gone 4-6 in their last 10 games. Boston was dealt a huge blow on Monday when the Celtics learned that Jaylen Brown would be out for the rest of the season with a wrist injury.
The two teams have split the first two games this season as the Celtics won the first in taking a 107-105 win in Miami on Jan. 6.
Injuries to Key Contributors
- Miami Heat – Victor Oladipo (knee) – OUT
- Boston Celtics – Jaylen Brown (wrist) – OUT; Robert Williams (turf toe) – Doubtful
Vs. The Spread
Heat (31-35-2, ATS):
- Miami is 4-1 ATS over it’s last 5 games
- The OVER has been the play in the Heat’s last 9 games
- Miami is 6-3 ATS in its last 9
Celtics (32-36, ATS):
- The Celtics are 0-7 ATS when playing on 1 days rest
- The total has gone OVER in 7 of Boston’s last 8 games
- The OVER has been the play in 5 of the last 6 games between the Celtics and Heat
Last Time Out
Jimmy Butler had 26 points and 11 assists as the Heat defeated the Celtics, 130-124, in Boston on Sunday. Duncan Robinson canned 22 and Bam Adebayo finished with 20 for the Heat, who lead by as many as 26 points in the first half before opening the third quarter on a 22-8 run to slice the Heat lead to 12. Evan Fournier lead all scorers with 30 for the Celtics.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Heat||-2 (-105)||-125||O 225 (-110)|
|Celtics||+2 (-115)||+105||U 225 (-110)|
*Odds Courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook
Miami is as healthy as it has been all season which means that the Heat when hitting on all cylinders are going to be a tough out in the playoffs. It starts with how Jimmy Butler leads as he has averaged 21 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in his last four games. Duncan Robinson has 21 triples in his last five games and is still making around 41 percent of his threes per game.
Boston hasn’t been good at defending the three all season as they allow 37.5 percent (23rd/NBA) while Miami makes 35.3 percent (23rd/NBA), but Miami has made 44-of-108 of the past three games (40.8%).
Key Heat Stat:
Prop up Adebayo as potentially the top defender in the NBA. He has limited guards to just 38.9 percent from the floor this season while shooters have made only 31.3 percent of their when he guards them man-up. Adebayo’s defensive performance play right in to the fact that the Heat have done a superior job in limiting opponents to 24.5-of-45.8 makes on the season as they lead the NBA in both categories.
Miami shot 57.3 percent against the Celtics on Sunday and if that is any indicator of things to come this even, what can the Celtics do to slow down Miami’s versatility on offense. The Heat have gotten its offense together in winning six out of their last eight as they have shot over 50 percent in five of those games.
The Celtics had very little fire and intensity on Sunday after Miami jumped them early and rolled to a 79-63 halftime lead. The mentality of the Boston team could be fractured as well although the Celtics did fight back in the fourth quarter to make the game interesting. Couple all that with Brown’s season-ending injury and you have a team looking for direction. Boston’s defense has really been abysmal vs. the three, in particular, in the last two games as Chicago and Miami combined to make 34 only two games after Portland made 19-of-38 last week.
Key Celtics Stat:
Brown shot 39.7 percent from three this season, so Kemba Walker (18.9 ppg, 5.0 apg) and Marcus Smart (13.1 ppg, 5.7 apg) are going to need to up their collective games to give Boston a Booster on offense beside of Jayson Tatum (26.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg). Walker actually averages more threes per game – 8.1 – than any of the Celtics in shooting 36 percent.
Sunday was Evan Fournier’s (11.9 ppg) biggest day for the Men in Green in the 13 since coming over from Orlando. He is going to play a huge role now in stepping in for the injured Brown.
Aaron Nesmith is another name that will be heard in the post season. The Vanderbilt rookie is playing more minutes and producing as he played a season-high 31 minutes six games ago in a win over Charlotte where he scored 15 points. Nesmith has either 15 or 16 points in four of his last six games as he has made 27-of-41 field goals in those last six games.
Winner: Celtics (+2) 115, Heat 111