Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Predictions
The Boston Celtics will be trying to keep their season alive when they face the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday. This series has been more competitive than Miami’s 3-1 lead suggests. The Celtics should have taken care of Toronto much quicker than the full seven-game allotment in round two and they should at least be tied with the Heat right now. None of their three losses to Miami have come by more than five points and Game 1 went to overtime. Boston’s lone win was a 117-106 decision. All in all, these two teams have scored the exact same number of points through four contests. Tyler Herro had the best game of his career for Miami on Wednesday and Game 4 still went down to the wire–also despite the fact that Boston star Jayson Tatum was basically absent for the entire first half. You have to think the Celtics will come out with more urgency on Friday, just as they did when they faced elimination in Game 7 against the Raptors (Boston jumped out to a 19-7 lead and ended up triumphing 92-87). Bam Adebayo aggravated a left-wrist injury late in Game 4 and although he will be able to play in Game 5, he may not be 100 percent. It did not look good, and the Heat are not deep at all behind Adebayo in the frontcourt. Go with the Celtics.
Adebayo is always a force on defense but he has been a machine offensively, as well, for the Heat during these playoffs. A wrist injury will also be more problematic on the offensive end than on defense. Sure he may not be able to block shots with his left hand in the same way that he famously rejected Tatum in Game 1, but Adebayo will still be able to bang with Boston’s bigger bodies (Daniel Theis) down low and control the defensive glass. In the first two games of this series, 212 and 207 points were scored in regulation. Barring someone like Herro or Duncan Robinson being unconscious again, a return to that norm would not be a surprise. Neither team plays at a particularly fast pace and both have been outstanding on defense throughout the season. The under is 12-5 in Boston’s last 17 overall, 5-1 in their last six following a loss, and 8-2 in their last 10 playing on one day of rest. Look for this one to stay under the total.