Wednesday, September 23, 2020, AdventHealth Arena, Kissimmee, Fla., 8:30 p.m. ET
Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Betting Preview: Celtics (-3/-110), Heat (+3/-110)
The Celtics didn’t let a double-digit lead slip away in Game 3, finally, and now look to even up the Eastern Conference finals at 2-2 when they battle the Heat in Game 4. Four different Boston players scored 20 or more points and the club put its Game 2 postgame tensions aside while playing its best contest of the series in the 117-106 win.
The balance in Game 3 was impressive with Jayson Tatum playing a stellar all-around game with 25 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. Jaylen Brown scored a team-high 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting, Kemba Walker tallied 21 points and Marcus Smart added 20. Gordon Hayward (ankle) played for the first time in the postseason and was just 2-of-7 shooting while scoring six points in 31 minutes.
Boston led by as many as 20 points and held a 60-36 advantage in points in the paint during Game 3. Look for the Celtics to concentrate on scoring from inside the lane again in Game 4.
The Heat look to rebound from a loss in which they never once led as they aim to take a 3-1 lead in the series. Miami is 10-2 in the postseason so one setback shouldn’t bring panic.
However, Jimmy Butler criticized his team’s effort and sometimes that type of critique can put more focus on the one defeat than the previous solid stretch of performances. Butler scored 17 points and is averaging 15.5 over the past two games. Worse, point guard Goran Dragic scored just 11 points on 2-of-10 shooting after putting up 29 and 25 points in the first two games. Dragic has eight 20-point outings in the postseason.
Miami big man Bam Adebayo had 27 points and 16 rebounds in Game 3 and the Celtics are having trouble figuring out to how defend him. Adebayo is averaging 22.0 points and 10.7 rebounds with two double-doubles in the series.
Celtics at Heat Betting Pick for Game 4
It may reason that this contest is more important for Boston since it trails in the series, but it may be more crucial for Miami. Seeing a 2-0 lead turn into a tied series through four games would be to the detriment of the Heat, as well as provide an emotional boost for a Celtics’ squad that was arguing loudly in the locker room after a Game 2 loss.
Butler is prone to let his attitude drop when times get tough so the Heat would feel much better about advancing if they take a 3-1 lead. Emotions aside, Tatum is playing like someone set on reaching his first NBA Finals.
Celtics at Heat Betting Pick:
Celtics 109, Heat 105
Celtics at Heat Best Bet for Game 4
Boston might not have four double-digit scorers in this affair, but the club is likely to have three. And if either Duncan Robinson (10 3-pointers over the last two games) or Tyler Herro (22 points in Game 3) is hot from outside, the Heat will pile up points. Look for this one to creep over the points total in the final minute.
Celtics at Heat Best Bet: OVER 210 total points (-110)