The Boston Celtics aren’t giving up and are determined to write history by eliminating the Miami Heat after a three-game deficit. The Cs triumphed this Thursday night at the TD Garden, cutting Miami’s lead to 3-2. And more importantly, building up momentum before heading back to Florida and the Miami-Dade Arena. Meanwhile, the Heat looked a bit sluggish in the attack and now have to find peace and stability in the next two days. Otherwise, they might experience one of the biggest upsets in the history of the NBA.
- Celtics Odds -150
- Heat Odds +130
- Spread Celtics -2
- Over/Under 211
Boston Celtics (-150) are again favorites, and this time with reasonable backup. The way they played the second half of Game 5 and the entire Game 6 gives them legit hope of reaching the NBA Finals. Joe Mazzulla finally found the perfect strategy for the team from Florida.
The Cs were furious right from the top off, winning the opening sequence, 35-20. It set the tone of the game, with the hosts routinely keeping the edge until the end of the contest. The Heat were unable to compete with the rivals at any given moment, as Boston firmly controlled the pace on the floor.
Four of the Celtics’ players had 20 or more points last night. Derrick White hit six threes in eight attempts to reach 24 buckets, Marcus Smart had four long-distance hits and 23 points, while Brown and Tatum had 21 each, with the note that Tatum dished 11 times and had eight boards.
Miami Heat (+135) made only nine threes, which was the key difference in the end. Boston had 16, so when you look at the overall score, the difference was in points from behind the arc. It turns out Gabe Vincent‘s absence was a bit hit on the shortened and injured Heat rotation.
Overall, Miami had a 51.3% FG, which is a very good shooting percentage, but the game’s opening minutes were terrible. Also, they had 16 turnovers, while Boston recorded six.
Jimmy Butler wasn’t able to help too much, and he had 14 points with five boards and steals. Caleb Martin had the same number of buckets coming off the bench. The top-scorer was Duncan Robinson with 18 points, and the sharpshooting forward added nine assists. Haywood Highsmith also came off the bench to contribute with 15 points. Bam Adebayo ended the night with 16.
Head to Head Games
The Heat won the opening three events, two in Boston, Game 1, 123-116, and 111-105. After that, they were pretty confident in Miami in Game 3, 128-102. Boston responded in back-to-back events, Game 4 in Florida, 116-99, and 110-97 last night in Massachusetts.
The over/under line stands at 211 points. Now, the Heat will be ultra-aggressive here, with the most physical approach in the entire series. We expect to see them ruthless at any given moment, trying to exploit the home-court edge. Boston has no other option but to accept that style because they, too, have what it takes to respond to this tactic. After all, they were the most physical defense over the past two years. Under 211 points is the pick we are after here, at -110.
Pick: Under 211 points -110
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.