The Boston Celtics lost in Orlando but now have a chance to erase that slip against the Miami Heat. These two teams have had plenty of interesting battles in the past, the most recent in the Eastern Conference finals. Coming into this battle, the Cs lost for the first time after nine consecutive victories, and they want to correct that ASAP. Miami oscillates and has been unstable since the New Year started. As usual, the Heat were overwhelmed with injuries, with Erik Spoelstra experiencing all sorts of trouble when it comes to using his roster.
Boston Celtics (35-13, +100) are 9-1 over the past ten games, with that single loss coming in last night’s contest in Orlando. The Magic beat the Cs for the third time this year, and the final result was 113-98.
Tatum and the boys have been inferior on the glass, having just 37 boards, three fewer than the Magic. Also, they had one of the worst shooting nights this year, hitting 39.1% from the field, and have allowed 54 points in the paint while scoring 32.
Tatum had 26 points, seven assists and six boards, 9-for-19 FG. The same number of points was delivered by Jaylen Brown, 10-for-22 from the field. Sam Hauser entered off the bench to add 13 buckets, and Derrick White 11 as a starter.
Miami Heat (26-22, -115) could have done better recently. Subsequent wins and losses over the past five games are proof of our claim. After beating Milwaukee at home, the Heat went on a three-game road trip, losing in Atlanta, then winning in New Orleans, and losing to Dallas.
Miami’s previous event was against the Pelicans at home, and they’ve posted another victory over this rival, 100-96. The Heat had a 16-point deficit at one moment of the event, yet managed to flip the result until the end, despite them having a terrible three-point shooting percentage, 8-for-34. Martin, Strus, and Oladipo were 0-for-13 from downtown.
Tyler Herro scored 26 buckets, having a team-high, adding eight boards to that. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo both had 18 points, with Jimmy B posting five steals, while Adebayo grabbed nine boards. Kyle Lowry had 17 and four steals.
Head to Head
There were three games between the Cs and the Heat this year. The current result in the series is 2-1 for Boston, who won the opening two meetings. The first was in Miami, 111-104; Boston was better in the second at the TD Garden, 134-121. In the most recent, also at the TD Garden, Miami took the win, 120-116, following overtime.
Boston played last night, and their energy bar is slightly shorter than Miami’s. We aren’t sure who will win in this event, but the line for the total is set at 224.5 points, which is too high, in our opinion. Eight of Miami’s last 11 games ended under, and five of the previous six Boston’s contests also went below the proposed line. Plus, this is a big matchup, and Boston tends to play a bit harder against the title contenders, while Miami’s defense at home is also rigid.
Pick: Under 224.5 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.