Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat Preview (10/21/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds
The Boston Celtics are visiting the Miami Heat for the first time since last season’s Eastern Conference Finals series that went seven games. These two teams are going to vie for the top of the Eastern Conference Standings once again, so this matchup will be interesting. You can look at the starting lineups and injuries for each team below. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Betting Odds
The Boston Celtics are 2.5-point road favorites and are also at -140 on the money line. There is no over/under listed. The Celtics being favored here doesn’t make much sense. Boston is the defending Eastern Conference Champions, but Miami pushed them to the brink last year in the playoffs. Expect this to be a defensive-minded game with both of these teams being great on that end of the floor, so when an over/under is listed expect that number to be relatively low.
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Prediction
The pick: Miami Heat -2.5
There’s never a lot to take stock in with early season performances for NBA teams just because the season is so long, but you have to think Miami circled this game after last year’s end to the season when they lost in Game 7 to the Celtics. Another example recently, was what happened just two days ago when the Phoenix Suns got revenge on the Dallas Mavericks after knocking them out last year. These two teams could just as easily meet in the playoffs again this year too. On paper, they are actually very similar teams. Jimmy Butler is the main engine that makes the Heat go on both offense and defense, whereas for Boston that player is Jayson Tatum. Those two players are the difference in this game for their respective teams. Butler started the season out pretty well, scoring over 20 points, while Tatum scored below 20 points in comparison.
The benches of each team are also very good, which sets them apart in the East too. A huge factor in this game is the fact that Robert Williams won’t be available for Boston, which will hurt them on the defensive side of the court. The Celtics also will be traveling on the road for the first time since their head coach, Ime Udoka, was suspended which could be difficult too. Miami is the right pick here. They are going to be more focused in this game and want revenge from last year.
Celtics are 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 road games.
Heat are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Who can win in the matchup between Jayson Tatum and Jimmy Butler?
Jimmy Butler vs. Jayson Tatum
Jimmy Butler is one of the best two-way players in the NBA. Jayson Tatum is one of the best young players in the NBA entering his prime. In their head-to-head meetings the stats are actually relatively even. Butler has averaged 22.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.5 Blocks, while Tatum has averaged 23.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1 block in their meetings. The difference here seems like it’ll be on defense, where they are very similar, but Butler seems like he’ll have an advantage there due to being at home. The Celtics game plan needs revolve around slowing down Butler, and if they can do that, then they have a way better chance of winning this game.
Marcus Smart vs. Kyle Lowry
Marcus Smart is not a traditional point guard, but what he does works incredibly well for the Celtics. He’s a defensive stalwart and even won the Defensive Player of the Year just last year. His defensive toughness sets the tone for the entire Celtics team, and it’s a huge part in why the Celtics were the best defensive team in the NBA last year. Kyle Lowry may be in the twilight of his career but he’s been a steadying force for the Heat ever since he arrived. Their head-to-head matchup stats are: Lowry averaging 19.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.8 steals, and 0.4 Blocks, while Smart is averaging 10.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.3 blocks. This is the most important position on the floor so whoever gets the upper-hand here will have a huge advantage here.
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
PG: Marcus Smart
SG: Derrick White
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Al Horford
Miami Heat Starting Lineups
PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: Tyler Herro
SF: Caleb Martin
PF: Jimmy Butler
C: Bam Adebayo
Boston Celtics Injuries: C Robert Williams (Knee) O, PF Danilo Gallinari (Knee) O
Miami Heat Injuries: SG Victor Oladipo (Knee) O, C Omer Yurtseven (Ankle) O