Boston had a surprisingly difficult time making it through two rounds of the playoffs, but still advanced to the Eastern final, where they will play Miami, the eighth team in the conference. In the first game of the series against the Celtics, will the Heat again show that they should not be underestimated? Here are a few bets on the upcoming encounter.
The Celtics have taken all the games in this playoff where they should have won, especially beating Philadelphia in the seventh game of the Eastern Conference semifinals by 24 points, 112:88. But the fact remains that the season’s main favorite has now lost five games in the current playoffs, losing twice to Atlanta and three times to Philadelphia. Boston’s core roster is still relatively young by postseason standards. Only Al Horford and Malcolm Brogdon, who are not in the Celtics’ starting lineup, are over the 30-year mark.
Few people had much faith in the Heat before the playoffs began. That’s not surprising since Erik Spoelstra’s team went into the postseason as the eighth team in the conference, making it through the play-in round. But Miami finished much stronger in the early games than Boston, proving that sometimes the experience of their leaders – in this case, Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Kevin Love- and the coaching staff- are enough to make a run at an elimination series. Recall that Miami first passed Milwaukee in five games and then handled the New York Knicks in six.
Tips of the Game
Last season, Boston and Miami also met in the conference finals, and everything was decided in game seven, which the Celtics took. The series could also extend quite a bit this season so that the first game won’t make much difference in the final result. The opponents will prepare their defensive decisions for the more critical second game. So let’s bet on a high-scoring game here and take a plus form on Miami, who, like the rest of the playoffs, are once again underestimated.