Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Matchup Preview
Both of these teams have two games under their belt since the restart. Miami had a 20-point victory against Denver and then lost by four against Toronto. The tough schedule in the restart continues as they get the Celtics, who are also 1-1 on the restart. They survived against Portland and had a seven-point loss against the Bucks. This is a big game between the two teams as Miami sits behind Boston in the standings. A win for Boston and they are likely locked into the three seed and would play either Indiana or Philadelphia. Depending on how they end up in the standings, the other team could see Philly, which is not ideal in round one. Jimmy Butler has torched Boston this season and it should be a show to watch between him and Jayson Tatum. There are a lot of secondary players who can make a difference tonight. Duncan Robinson’s three-point shooting is something to watch and Jaylen Brown has shown the potential to take over a game.
Time: 6:30 PM ET
Arena: HP Field House, Orlando, FL
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Celtics Starting 5
The positive for Boston heading into tonight is that the injury report is on their side. While Kemba Walker will still have a minutes limit, everyone else is healthy and ready to roll. Walker should be around the 24-25 minute mark. We will continue to see Marcus Smart pick up most of the minutes and then Brad Wanamaker and Semi Ojeleye will fill in between. It will be interesting to see if we get more Enes Kanter, who is coming off of a +16 game against Portland. Daniel Theis struggled against the Blazers and had foul trouble. He will have a tough task against Bam Adebayo. Boston should be looking to contain the secondary players of the Heat as they can let Butler have what he wants but being able to stop the surrounding names is a tough task. Boston’s three-point defense is on the strong side and that is where Miami can beat you. That wasn’t always the case but the roster turnover has turned them into a lethal three-point team.
Heat Starting 5
Miami is coming off of a game where they could have taken one from Toronto to start the restart 2-0. Jimmy Butler struggled at the end of the game and only took nine shots. We saw Kelly Olynyk and Goran Dragic really save them off the bench. They got zero production out of Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson who ended up giving way to bench players and scored a combined five points. Expect a different game from Miami as Adebayo and Butler were just too conservative. If Olynyk continues his hot start, he is going to be an issue against his former team. The two bigs could also provide a needed advantage on the glass. Much like Boston needs to stop key members off the bench, the Heat will need to do the same for Marcus Smart and Enes Kanter. Both have shown the ability to provide a spark against the opposing team’s second units. Smart is also going to match up against their younger guards, and that could be an issue as well.
Celtics vs Heat Fantasy Basketball Angle
Boston-Miami isn’t a game that screams fantasy potential, but you have some nice pivots in this game. Kemba Walker remains on a minutes limit and even if he picks up a few extra, it is not enough for him to be of any value. At point guard, you can certainly take a shot on Goran Dragic. I like the upside of Dragic off the bench and he is coming off a strong game against Toronto. Jimmy Butler has taken just 20 shots between the two games since the restart. A bit odd, but he has torched the Celtics this season averaging 29-6-3 in two meetings. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are a dynamic duo and both are in play for tournaments tonight. I will look at more high scoring games in cash games like Portland, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Sacramento.
Celtics vs Heat Betting Odds
Celtics Odds: -150
Heat Odds: +125
Spread: BOS -3.5
Boston has won seven of their last ten games against the Heat, but are 4-6 ATS. The average score has been around 204 in those ten games, but 220 over the last three. The Celtics have been reliable favorites, going 35-11 this season. Winning five in a row against the Heat, no surprise to see them as slight favorites. Miami is a tough team and I have little confidence in either of the teams to cover. The reason for this is Miami’s shooting is very hit and miss. Over the past three games against Boston, they have shot 40% from the field, but we know they can light it up on any given night with Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro. While Brown and Tatum have been electric, this might be a game where they need Kemba Walker and he is still on a minutes limit.
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