NBA Handicapping Predictions – Heat vs Celtics
The Boston Celtics went to Miami and shocked the basketball world by winning Game Five. Now, the veteran Celtics have a chance to close it out at home in Game Six.
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NBA Basketball Matchup: #2 Miami Heat (2-3) vs. #4 Boston Celtics (3-2)
Eastern Conference Finals
Date/Time: June 7, 8:30 PM EST on ESPN
NBA Gambling Odds from Bovada
NBA Betting Favorite: Heat -1.5
Chris Bosh is getting healthy and he’ll likely play more minutes in Game Six.
Can the Heat survive and send this series to a crucial Game Seven?
The Miami Heat were expected to win comfortably in Game Five. They entered the game as an 8 point favorite. The Heat led through much of the game, but they struggled in the second half. Miami was beaten down the floor consistently in the second half, which really is just inexcusable.
The Heat shot only 39% from the floor in Game Five. Chris Bosh had 9 points and 7 rebounds, but he played only 14 minutes. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined to score 57 points, but they were only 21 out of 47 from the field.
The supporting cast wasn’t good enough in Game Five. No one other than James and Wade had double figures in scoring in Game Five. If Miami wins Game Six it will likely be due to a better defensive effort. The Heat are tough to beat when they are committed on the defensive end.
Boston went down 0-2 in this series and pretty much everyone completely wrote them off for the year.
The Celtics veteran leaders kept fighting, and they have pulled out three close victories in a row. Boston was able to win Game Five despite Rajon Rondo going just 3 for 15 from the floor.
Rondo did have 13 assists in the game. Kevin Garnett has been the team’s most consistent performer in the playoffs, and he was brilliant again in Game Five. Garnett racked up 26 points and 11 rebounds in the crucial win. Paul Pierce struggled with his shot, but his three-point shot with less than a minute left was a real dagger.
Mickael Pietrus contributed with 13 points and some great defense in the win. Boston’s bench outplayed the Miami bench in Game Five.
It should be a great environment in Boston for Game Six Thursday night.
The Celtics need to take care of business and finish this series now, while the Heat will be fighting very hard to stay alive. The side is a tough call, but I expect both defenses to play well.
Look for a low scoring game.
Free NBA Pick: Under 179