Miami Heat will host the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday evening. The hosts want to pick up where they left off and go to Boston with a 2-0 advantage. The away side seeks improvement in this one, and they look forward to leveling this tie.
Miami continued its winning streak on the home court in the post-season, and they want to continue in the same fashion. Another success would see the home side getting a big advantage in this tie. On the other hand, Boston wasn’t competitive enough in the series opener, and they need to do much better here. A potential success could help them even this series before moving it home.
Miami Heat – Will they continue being successful at home?
The Heat enjoyed a successful opening of this series after beating their rivals 118-107 on Tuesday evening. It was their tenth straight win at home and seventh in the post-season. Although they trailed by eight points at halftime, an excellent display in the third period saw them being ahead of their rivals. Miami held their opponents to only 14 points in that quarter, which was the key to success in Game 1. The Heat had a 48.8 field goal percentage, while they scored 33.3% of their three-pointer shots. If they keep their numbers high enough, Miami can be closer to another victory.
Jimmy Butler leads Miami in the playoffs with 29.8 points per game, followed by 7.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 2.3 steals. Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro produce 14+ pts per contest in the post-season, while Max Strus scores 12.4 points. Victor Oladipo is the last Miami player that contributes with a double-digit number of points. Regarding the selection issues, Kyle Lowry remains unavailable for the Heat, while Max Strus and Gabe Vincent are questionable.
Expected Line-Up: Victor Oladipo, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, P.J. Tucker, Bam Adebayo
with best odds
Boston Celtics – Can they improve their game?
The Celtics started well in the opening match of this series, but they failed to capitalize on a good display in the first half. Although they were eight points ahead after the first 24 minutes, the visitors ruined everything in the third quarter. They lost that period by 25 points, and despite being more successful in the final one, it wasn’t enough for a positive result. Boston has a solid 45.6 field goal percentage, hitting 32.4% of the shots from the three-pointer area. On the other hand, they made three turnovers more than their opponents.
Jayson Tatum is Boston’s top scorer in the post-season with 28.3 points per game, including 6.1 assists, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and one block. Jaylen Brown is also in the 20s with 22.3 pts, while Marcus Smart contributes with 15 points and is the team’s best assistant with 6.2. Al Horford tops the rebs charts with 9.4 while producing 13 pts per contest. On the other hand, Derrick White joined Sam Hauser on the list of unavailable players, while Marcus Smart is doubtful.
Expected Line-Up: Payton Pritchard, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Robert Williams III
Expert Pick #1 – Miami Heat -2.5 @-110
The Heat continued its unbeatable run on the home court, and I think they can make it last a little bit longer. Miami is winning by almost 15 points on average at FTX Arena, and I’m not going to stand their way here. That’s why I’ll back them ATS as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 207 @-110
Although the first match went over the margin, I expect a tighter encounter on Thursday evening. This is still a clash between the two defensively solid teams, and there shouldn’t be more than 207 points. Give me the Under as the second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Jimmy Butler Over 26.5 @+105
Jimmy Butler had an excellent display in Game 1, scoring 41 pts, and I see him picking up where he left off. I believe he can produce at least 27 pts in this one, and I’ll take this pick at the plus money odds.