Remember that time when the Heat were the #8 seed and one quarter away from missing the 2023 NBA Playoffs?
The Bulls were playing pretty well over the first few quarters before Miami found a way to take over the game and knock them out. And their reward for all of that was getting to face the #1 seeded Bucks. And best yet, they lost Tyler Herro to a broken hand during the first game of the series.
And yet, the team is still here. Not only that but after taking game 1 on the road, they are but three wins away from a second trip to the NBA Finals in four seasons.
As for Boston, they have gone just 4-4 at TD Garden. Whereas the other three teams left in the postseason have not lost a single home game, the Celtics are barely treading water in front of the faithful fans.
A victory for the Heat tonight could really have Joe Mazzulla’s team afraid.
Betting Odds & Lines
- Spread: BOS -9.0
- Moneyline: MIA +315, BOS -400
- Over/Under: 213.5 Points
Miami Aims For 2-0 Edge
A victory for Miami tonight would go a long way toward a possible series win. Jimmy Butler has continued to dominate, clearly right next to Nikola Jokic as the two best players this postseason.
Nobody seems able to keep him from getting exactly what he wants. And also clear has been how Bam Adebayo has been his perfect sidekick. He is able to be a playmaker while also attacking the rim. His defense has been as good as they have needed it to be.
Both Max Strus and Caleb Martin have stepped up to make big shots, while Kyle Lowry continues to be invaluable off the bench. At this time a season ago, #7 was dealing with injuries, and it felt like the entire fanbase felt like the signing wasn’t panning out. Oh, how things change, with the floor general making a monumental difference on both ends of the floor when he’s out there.
If Jimmy stays hot and they shoot the three well, another upset is happening.
Boston Tries to Save Themselves
Being down 0-1 isn’t the worst thing in the world. LeBron James has always been known as a player that has taken a game to take everything in. But in this scenario, Boston should be a little nervous.
They went seven with the Heat in last year’s ECF, and they just barely eked it out. If Butler had gone to the rim instead of taking a three, a seventh game may have been what would have determined the potential victor.
The level of competition will be fierce, and they have to be ready. Jayson Tatum scored 51 points just two games ago. Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White have been sensational.
They need to figure out their rotation, and it is clear that Grant Williams should be playing. And as long as Jaylen Brown’s hand is okay after his fall last game, they will be okay.
Miami Able to Cover
Make sure to stay away from Celtics -9.5. They do have a chance, but the Heat spread is the safer pick. Another great game is in store.
Pick: Heat +9.5