Celtics vs Heat Conference Finals Betting: Boston Chasing History
Heat Better Dig Deep, Now, They "Must"
Pressure Mounting on Miami
The Boston Celtics head back to Miami with the series sitting at 3-2 after the visitors secured back-to-back double-digit wins to stave off elimination. Let’s dive into our Celtics vs Heat Conference Finals Betting preview ahead of Game 6.
The Celtics continued their hot shooting in Game 5 as they went 16-for-39 (41%) from beyond the arc. Their +21 point advantage in 3-point shooting helped propel them to another convincing win as they work towards being the first team in NBA history to overcome an 0-3 deficit.
Things however are certainly getting nervy in Miami as the Heat try to stem momentum and regain control of the series. Gabe Vincent missed Game 5 with an ankle injury and remains questionable on the NBA injury report to return for Game 6.
While Vincent’s his absence hasn’t had a huge impact on the NBA spreads it’s certainly going to drastically impact their on court performance with the adjustments in rotations for Erik Spoelstra.
Boston is already sitting as -2.5 point favorites for this one while the full game total has been set at 211.0 points.
Boston’s Lineup Adjustments Swinging Momentum
Joe Mazzulla’s decision to revert back to a one-big lineup has certainly paid dividends as the Celtics begin to implement their defensive identity on this series.
Boston has now held Miami to under 100 points in back-to-back games and have done a much better job at limiting the space on the perimeter to take away the wide open looks from deep.
Rob Williams’ impact off the bench has created a huge mismatch in the second unit and having Derrick White in with the starters also allows them to play five-out on offense and remove Bam Adebayo’s defensive abilities as a rim protector.
As yet Miami has yet to find the right counter and given their injury situation their hands are tied as to what they can do with the available personnel at their disposal.
While a lot of the past two games has been about Boston regaining rhythm from beyond the arc and Miami suffering some regression simply highlighting that fact without acknowledging how Boston is able to now play in transition off misses is taking away a big part of Mazzulla’s coaching adjustments.
Game 6 is unlikely to bring any new wrinkles from the Celtics but they’ve shown the last two games that they are still able to play to a defensive level that had them ranked as a top-5 NBA team on that end of the floor all NBA season.
Heat Need Butler to Take the Reins
While Miami can point to some shooting regression as they main area of difference in their last two games there’s no denying that Jimmy Butler hasn’t been able to implement himself in the same way as he did to start this series.
Boston has done a great job of preventing Butler from getting to his spots in the midrange but there’s also fair questions to be asked for Miami’s main man to better inject himself when his team needs him most.
One reason for concern is that Butler isn’t conditioned to be playing big minutes every second night and we saw that be a concern in Game 5 as he finished with 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting. In fact, over the past two games, Butler is a -44 in 73 minutes.
Miami needs to do a better job of having him headhunt mismatches on the floor while also leaning on their defense in a way that can have them go back to playing a pace-and-space offense.
Butler’s defense has also been missing and their 2-3 zone seems to be becoming inefficient as the Celtics do a good job of penetrating and operating in the midrange.
Ultimately, this series has all been about who can create and make shots from deep and right now the Celtics are in a rhythm that suggests they can continue to wrestle away all momentum and belief from this Miami team. I’m happy to lay the points here with the Celtics and expect them to set up a memorable Game 7 in Boston to determine the winner of this series.
That’s all for our Celtics vs Heat Conference Finals Betting. Be sure to check in on all our NBA Finals analysis to help you with your best bets and parlays.Follow us on Twitter
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