Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Preview
Two Eastern Conference powers square off tonight as the Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics. The Heat are currently second in the East with a 32-14 record. They won their last game and are 6-4 in their last 10 games. At home, the Heat are an excellent 21-2.
The Celtics have been struggling as of late. They’ve slipped to fourth place in the East with a 30-15 record. They lost their most recent game and are 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Celtics are 12-10 on the road this season.
In their last matchup on December 4, the Celtics were led by Jaylen Brown in a 112-93 win. Brown had 31 points and Jimmy Butler had 37 points and four assists in a losing effort.
Time: 8 PM ET
Arena: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
Celtics: Jayson Tatum (D), Enes Kanter, Robert Williams III (O)
Heat: Kendrick Nunn (DTD), Kyle Alexander, Justise Winslow (O)
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
The Boston Celtics had a three-game winning streak snapped on Sunday by the New Orleans Pelicans. Zion Williamson and the Pelicans surprisingly blew out the Celtics 123-108.
The Celtics’ slow start on both ends of the floor did not help as they managed to put up just 20 points in the first quarter to New Orleans’ 32. Boston will hope to have some of the success they had in their earlier matchup with the Heat this season.
“Our guys did a really good job of driving, kicking, moving the ball and finding the next guy,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. “It all works together.”
In order to achieve that level of success, they’ll need to shoot much better as a unit than they did on Sunday. While Kemba Walker had 35 points and Gordon Hayward had 23, being without Jayson Tatum left a whole, and they didn’t get the help off their bench that they would have liked.
Their three-point shooting was also off, knocking down just 8-of-33 from beyond the arch.
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
The Miami Heat have won three of their last four games, and this is their second game of a back-to-back after beating Orlando at home yesterday 113-92. The Heat were dominant from the start, and big man Bam Adebayo had a rare triple-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a game he dedicated to Kobe Bryant.
“I’m going to dedicate this one to Kobe, man,” Adebayo said of Bryant, who died tragically on Sunday. “That’s my role model. It’s sad and I pray for his family, but this one goes out to Kobe Bean.”
Five Heat players scored in double figures. Aside from Adebayo, Jimmy Butler scored 19, Duncan Robinson had 21, Tyler Herro had 13 and Goran Dragic finished with 14 points.
Kendrick Nunn was out for the game against the Magic and he is listed as day-to-day for tonight. Dion Waiters returned and made his season debut last night, finishing with three points in six minutes.
Key Player Matchups
Jaylen Brown vs. Jimmy Butler
Brown scored 31 against the Heat in their last game, so look for Jimmy Butler to try to limit him tonight. Brown has shown immense improvement and confidence this season. He’s having a career year in his fourth NBA season and his ability to get it done on both sides of the floor has made him a cornerstone of this Celtics team. Butler has taken a bit of a backseat in terms of scoring this season, but he’s taking a more active role in ball distribution and running the pick-and-roll, which has led to him averaging a career-high in assists. Butler had 37 points in their last matchup so this will be one to watch.
Kemba Walker vs. Kendrick Nunn
Kendrick Nunn has been a fun story this season. A player that seemingly came out of nowhere to become a starter and average over 16 points per game. But if he plays tonight, he’ll have his hands full chasing Kemba Walker around. In the first matchup, Walker finished with 28 points and seven assists and he’s coming off a 35-point game.
Jaylen Brown and Jimmy Butler are fantasy standouts for tonight’s game. Brown has a $6.2k salary on FanDuel and he is projected to finish with 34.9 points, making him both a stud and a value player with his 5.62 points per $1k ratio. Butler has a projection of 40.1 points and he has a salary of $8.5k.
Daniel Theis is another value option with a 30.7 point projection and a salary of $5.2k. Look to Nunn to provide some value for $5.1k with a projection of 25.8 fantasy points.
Bet on Matchup
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