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Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Friday NBA Preview & Free Pick

Celtics vs Heat NBA Handicapping

This one looked pretty juicy when the schedule came out last summer, but since the coach of just about every NBA playoff team has started channeling Gregg Popovich and has been sitting out stars to keep them fresh for the playoffs, Boston at Miami now has the look and feel of a September baseball game littered with minor league call-ups.

Boston Celtics (40-38) at Miami Heat (62-16)
Friday, April 12
American Airlines Arena, Miami
7:30 p.m. EST
Miami -12.5 O/U 195 at JustBet

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Boston’s Doc Rivers has decided to go the full-Popovich on this one. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce won’t be on the court as Boston tries to preserve some strength and make some kind of noise in the playoffs (probably taking on the Knicks in the first round.)

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The skeleton team that will comprise tonight’s Celtics rotation will enable to Heat to get in a good run and not much more. LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade all sat out Wednesday’s game against the Wizards, and as of this morning there was no word on which of the three, if any, will play tonight. (For the record, Wade says he’s in.)

“It’ll be an interesting game,” said Rivers, “because who know who’ll play?” [ad-6571516]

The Celtics need one more win (or Bucks loss) to clinch the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff scrum. If the Celtics lose in Miami and Milwaukee goes down tonight at Atlanta, that could open the door for Garnett and Pierce to play Saturday night in Orlando, where a win would enable everyone to put their feet up and spend several days next week prepping for the post-season.

Since NBA rules mandate five players on the court at one time, Miami — which rode its long February/March winning streak to the best record in franchise history – will likely give the back end of its roster heavy minutes tonight.

That should delight fans in the James Jones and Norris Cole fans clubs who subscribe to NBA TV.

Other than that, though, this one should be about as exciting as the second-to-last exhibition game in late October.


No line on this one early this morning as oddsmakers waited for some word on Miami scratches and get a feel for just who will actually play, and for how long. Assuming Wade plays a half and James decides he needs to break a sweat, the Heat should take care of business and avoid the embarrassment of losing to Boston scrubs on their home court.

Games without stars often go over as players on the back end of rosters rarely pass up an opportunity to run the court and score a few points.


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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!