Heat vs Celtics Conference Finals Odds: Celts Not Going Away Like Lakers
One Game At a Time, Celtics Win This One, New Series
Eastern Conference Final Heads Back to Boston
The Boston Celtics have given themselves hope as they forced a Game 5 back in Boston. Now they attempt to be the first team in NBA history to overcome a 0-3 series deficit. Let’s dive into the Heat vs Celtics Conference Finals Odds and see what the markets are presenting in the next chapter of this rivalry.
The Celtics got their swagger back in Game 4 as they recorded their first positive 3-point differential this series outscoring the Heat by 30 points from beyond the arc. The team showed a renewed focus on defense along with a much-needed improvement in offensive ball movement to extend their season at least one more game.
Meanwhile, the Heat will be frustrated to have let a nine-point advantage disappear in the third quarter as they looked to close things out at home and begin getting some much-needed rest before the NBA Finals showdown with Denver. Instead, they head back on the road with some more injury concerns as the pressure slowly begins to mount on Erik Spoelstra’s team.
Boston has opened as 7.5-point favorites for Game 5 while the full game total is set at 215.5 points.
Heat vs Celtics
Location: TD Garden
Shots Start Falling for Celtics
The Celtics are a dangerous team when their 3-point shot is falling and the hope for Joe Mazzulla’s team is that they can carry over their hot shooting into Game 5 in their home building.
Boston finished 18-for-45 (40%) from beyond the arc in Game 4 and got much-needed scoring contributions from key role players to help spark them to a win on the road. Al Horford, Derrick White, and Grant Williams combined to go 10-for-19 (52.6%) from 3-point range while Jayson Tatum also saw his shot falling as he finished with 33 points on 14-for-22 shooting from the field.
Given the production Miami has gotten from its role players this series, it was a welcome surprise for Boston to get their shooters finding a rhythm with their season on the line.
The Celtics have been atop the NBA standings in 3-point frequency and efficiency all season, but their shot seemed to abandon them at the worst possible time as they struggled to come close to their season averages in this series.
Mazzulla has echoed his belief in his NBA players and maintained that the team simply needs to execute their brand of basketball to get the outcomes expected of them. If they’re able to continue with this positive regression from beyond the arc there’s every reason to believe that this series is far from over just yet.
Heat Defense Needs to Step Up
If there’s one thing we know about Game 5 it’s that Erik Spoelstra will have something in store to stop the Celtics offense from being able to generate what it wants in the halfcourt.
Those defensive adjustments are going to be key as they’ll not only go a long way to slowing Boston’s scoring but could also be pivotal in sparking Miami’s offense.
The Heat forced Boston into 10 turnovers in Game 4, which was well below the 15 turnovers per game that they had generated in all three games prior to that. After averaging 20 points per game off those turnovers in Games 1-3, they recorded just 12 points off turnovers in Game 4.
That difference played a big part in why they were held under 100 points for the first time this series and why their offense recorded its lowest Effective Field Goal average to match.
Miami’s pace-and-space approach to this series is predicated on their ability to force live turnovers and push the pace off missed field goals. Spoelstra trusts his guys to make the right play in the open court and will emphasize the need to show up defensively in order to pressure this Boston team.
The Celtics will want to feed off the home crowd and if they can find rhythm early with their 3-point shot, things might snowball quickly for Miami to a point where they’ll struggle to halt the momentum.
The full game Over continues to be the best look in this game with the series centered around both sides taking and making shots from deep. The NBA schedule might want to go ahead and lock in a Game 6 as we are expecting Boston to ride some momentum and avoid losing three straight home games at the Garden.
That’s all for our Heat vs Celtics Conference Finals odds Game 5 preview. Be sure to follow along for all our expert picks throughout the NBA Conference Finals and NBA Finals.Follow us on Twitter