Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics Preview
It’s a battle between the Eastern Conference’s number five and seven seed tonight as the Miami Heat (19-20) hosts the scorching Boston Celtics (25-15).
Boston has enjoyed a nice four-game winning streak in their homestand, but they head down South tonight away from the cozy confines of TD Garden.
Miami has lost their last two and has won only six of their last 10, as they hold on tightly to the number seven side, just a half-game ahead of the Charlotte Hornets.
The last time these teams met was on December 20 with Miami coming away with the 90-89 win. They were led by Kelly Olynyk’s 32 points as he tried to match Kyrie Irving, who had 33 points and five assists.
Time: 7:00pm ET
Arena: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
Miami started the New Year right with a 117-92 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers and a 115-109 win over the Washington Wizards. Since then, though, they’ve had trouble getting back into the win column with two straight losses to the Atlanta Hawks and Denver Nuggets.
Against the Hawks, several of the starters pulled disappearing acts, with three starters accounting for a total of 12 points.
Miami almost came back from an 18-point first quarter against the Western Conference’s number one seed, the Denver Nuggets, but they had trouble containing Denver’s one-two punch of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.
While no one Heat player stood out offensively, seven Heat players scored in double figures.
Hassan Whiteside has continued to struggle this season, and while Rodney McGruder started the season off hot, he’s cooled down quite a bit since then. Luckily for the Heat, Dion Waiters is back, and he looked good against the Nuggets, scoring 15 points in just 25 minutes.
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
While the Boston Celtics have won their last four, they are on the road and they’ll be playing their second game of a back-to-back.
The Celtics had an impressive win on Wednesday night, with a 135-108 victory over the number three Indiana Pacers.
The Celtics defense was able to limit Victor Oladipo and Thaddeus Young, and the offense was able to get scoring from several players, allowing coach Brad Stevens to limit minutes in preparation for tonight’s game.
Jayson Tatum, who had struggled a bit lately, scored 20 points, Marcus Morris chipped in 22 and Jaylen Brown seemed to end a slump as well with 22 points.
Altogether, seven Celtics scored in double figures, a promising sign. When the Celtics get both their offense and defense going, they are a threat to just about every team in the league, and they’ll continue to try to work their way up the standings.
Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics Betting Odds
Boston is a -1 point favorite to win tonight’s game in Miami and extend their streak. The over/under is 212 points, and Boston opened at -130 and is now live at -145 on the moneyline.
The Cetlics are 86-75 on the road and 162-66 as the favorite. Miami is 91-61 at home and 61-90 as the underdog.
DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Picks
Kyrie Irving and Josh Richardson are two key fantasy players for tonight’s Eastern Conference matchup. Irving ($8.4k) is projected for a 39.54 point night on Fan Duel.
Richardson ($6.5k) is also a fantasy value, and he’s projected 34.48 points.
Boston’s Marcus Morris ($4.7k) is another safe fantasy value with a projection of 25.67 points.
Find all of our Fanduel and Draftkings projections here: https://www.lineups.com/nba/nba-fantasy-basketball-projections.