Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Matchup Preview (5/19/22)
A huge third quarter from the Miami Heat propelled them to a double-digit Game One victory at home over the Boston Celtics. Miami outscored the Celtics 39-14 during those explosive 12 minutes and was led by Jimmy Butler, who scored 27 of his 41 points in the third and fourth quarters. Until the second half started, Boston had controlled the game and scored at a high level against a team that had otherwise looked elite on the defensive end of the floor throughout the playoffs. A combination of missing Marcus Smart and Al Horford and not being able to contain Jimmy Butler derailed the C’s plans to steal Game One.
Smart should be back for Game Two, which bodes well for Boston; however, it will still be without Al Horford, who has had a handful of double-digit scoring and rebounding games thus far in the postseason. Boston will need to somehow slow down “Jimmy Buckets” if it wants to secure a road win in Game Two and tie up the series. Meanwhile, it’s pretty clear the recipe for victory for Miami: let Butler roam free on the offensive end with no restrictions. There’s a reason he has the nickname that he does.
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Betting Odds
Despite being without Al Horford and Marcus Smart in Game One, the Boston Celtics were quite competitive on the road. In the first, second, and fourth quarters, Boston outscored Miami by a combined 14 points; that massive explosion by Miami in the third quarter put the game out of reach, though. I don’t see Miami having another near 40-point quarter in this series simply because the Celtics’ defense is excellent. Boston was without two of its top defenders, so it makes sense that it struggled at times on that end. However, with Smart returning for Game Two, I like Boston’s chances at keeping the game close and not allowing any huge runs as we saw in Game One. I’m going to stick to my guns and go with the C’s against the spread in this one.
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How To Watch
Time: 8:30 PM ET
Arena: FTX Arena – Miami, FL
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Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
Boston Celtics Analysis
Don’t worry too much, Celtics fans. Boston was without two of its experienced leaders and contributors in Game One, so it has a valid excuse for losing to Miami on the road. It’s clear that the C’s struggled on the defensive end without them as Miami put up 118 points. Even offensively, it would have helped to have their three-point shooting and basketball IQs in the third quarter when the C’s couldn’t buy a bucket. Luckily, Smart has been listed as probable for Game Two, so expect him to give it a go! On the other hand, Horford is doubtful and will miss his second straight game. Regardless, a few positives came from Game One, including Robert Williams’ return; he posted 18 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks in less than 30 minutes! Boston also got 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists out of Payton Pritchard, who had not played nearly as frequently throughout these playoffs. Perhaps, the extra experience with Smart out in Game One could be a blessing in disguise in the future. For now, the Celtics need to limit Jimmy Butler and force younger, more inexperienced players like Max Strus and Gabe Vincent to beat them.
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
Miami Heat Analysis
Kyle Lowry missed another game with that nagging hamstring injury, and it still did not derail the Miami Heat and their “next man up” culture. A massive 39-point third quarter took this team from being “on the ropes” in Game One to being in complete control. All it took was 12 minutes. It’s no mystery which player was the hero for this team once again: Jimmy Butler. Butler finished with a game-high 41 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four steals, and three blocks. One could argue that this was the most dominant game on both ends of the floor that anyone has played thus far in the playoffs, and it just so happened to be against arguably the NBA’s best defense! Regardless, Butler will need some assistance in this series because he’s probably not capable of putting up that kind of stat line every night. Miami will need to get more out of Bam Adebayo in particular because ten points and four rebounds for a player of his caliber will not cut it.