NBA Game 4 Preview: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat

May 23, 2023

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Game: Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat

Time: 8:30 p.m.

Odds: Celtics +1.5, Heat -1.5

Total: 216

Jimmy Butler’s spectacular play and Bam Adebayo’s solid play have lifted the eighth-seeded Miami Heat on their fairytale journey through the Eastern Conference playoffs. Butler and Adebayo aren’t doing it by themselves, though.

Miami’s Gabe Vincent led all scorers with a career-high 29 points on 11-for-14 shooting from the field and 6-of-9 from three-point range in Sunday’s Game 3 victory. Butler and Adebayo were able to virtually take a backseat after Vincent and fellow undrafted players Max Strus (10), Caleb Martin (18), and Duncan Robinson (22), combined for 79 points.

The Heat can secure their spot in the NBA Finals when they meet the Boston Celtics tonight in Game 4.  Miami has a commanding 3-0 series lead over second-seeded Boston in the Eastern Conference final after a thunderous 128-102 victory on Sunday. The 3-0 deficit in the NBA playoffs is considered the equivalent of the losing team’s death sentence. In league history, no team has ever come back from such a deficit to win a series.

Miami shot a blistering 56.8 percent from the field (46-of-81) and 54.3 percent (19-of-35) from three-point range. The Heat are playing without Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo due to injury. Herro averaged 20.1 points per game during the regular season and Oladipo contributed 10.7 a game.

On the other hand, Boston’s renowned shooting tandem of Jayson Tatum and Brown combined to make just 12-of-35 field goal attempts and 1-of-14 attempts from beyond the arc on Sunday. In the series, Brown has only made 2-of-20 attempts from three-point range.

The Heat are killing it from beyond the arc, shooting 47.8 percent (44-for-92). Boston is shooting itself in the foot, making only 31-of-102 shots (29.2 percent) from behind the three-point line. Boston fans are clinging to a sliver of hope. They remember when their hometown Red Sox overcame a 3-0 deficit to shock the New York Yankees and go on to win the World Series.

Kevin Love of Miami scored five baskets in a row and pulled down two rebounds before leaving the game on Sunday with what seemed to be an ankle injury. Love is listed as probable for tonight on the Heat’s injury report.

Game 3 was Boston’s second-lowest scoring output of the postseason. The Celtics are averaging just 107.7 points per game, which is 10 points lower than their regular season average. Tatum is averaging 26 points a game, but Brown is only scoring 16.7.

Game 4 is the first time this series that the Heat are favored. Miami has won seven straight games at home in the Kaseya Center and has won the last five straight games against Boston.

Totals bettors should know that the Over is the trend for both teams. In the Celtics’ last 14 games, the Over is 11-3. The total has gone Over in five of Miami’s last six games and the Over is also 5-1 in the last five between Miami and Boston.

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