The Miami Heat will look to avenge a 91-72 thumping at the hands of the Boston Celtics on April 1st. The change of venue is having a big effect on the NBA odds makers, as this go around the Heat are favored by 7.5 points.
Boston Celtics (32-24 SU, 28-28 ATS)
The Boston Celtics
have surged into first place and taken control of the Atlantic division over
the fast fading 76'ers. Boston will be
looking for their third consecutive win and are currently 7-3 over their last
ten. If the Green has anything to say
about it, they would gladly repeat their performance on April 1st
when they fooled the Heat into thinking they could score.
As the two meet again tonight, is it our time to be fooled, or should we let the last matchup shape our NBA picks for tonight?
Boston shutdown Miami's prolific offense by
limiting them to a season low 34.8% shooting and only 72 points of
offense. Rajon Rondo led the Celtics
with a triple double and quarterbacked a Celtics team that refused to lose in
front of the home crowd that Sunday afternoon in Boston.
season's edition of the Celtics is all about spreading the ball around and
employing a suffocating defense. The
Green ranks 2nd in assists, averaging 22.3 per game and allows only
89.3 PPG, good for 3rd in the NBA. They will not beat you on the glass nor will they win many shootouts and
have a tendency to struggle most nights with the elite squads of the league as
evidenced by back to back losses to San Antonio and Chicago. But even those losses were close as they held
both the Spurs and Bulls to 87 and 93 points respectively in narrow
defeats. Keeping true to their defensive
roots, the C's then reeled off victories against the Pacers and 76'ers,
limiting both clubs to an average of 75 points. Defense is the key in Boston.
Miami Heat (40-15 SU, 27-28 ATS)
to run and gun but they can also be a very tough defensive team to battle
against. LeBron and company are ranked 4th
in the league in points scored with 100.2 PPG and allow only 93.3 PPG, good for
6th. If they allow Boston to
lock on and clamp down, they could be in for another long night at the
office. However, if they play their
up-tempo game, which they did when last these two teams met in Miami, it could
be a repeat of that 115-107 victory.
looks promising for tonight's matchup, but a series of ankle and knee injuries
have limited the Miami superstar this season. Even if Wade does get the nod to test his ankle, he may not be fully
equipped to go hard for very long. Nevertheless, this is and will always be LeBron's show to run. King James leads the team in points, assists,
rebounds steals and field goal percentage. All he needs now is a cape.
Obviously the Heat can compete with any team in the league when they are
locked on but questions have surfaced about LeBron's ability to deliver when it
matters most. In the waning moments,
with the game on the line, superstars don't want the ball, they demand it.
past three seasons, in games played in Miami between the Heat and the Celtics, Miami
is 6-4 straight up and 5-5 against the spread. Since their disappointing performance in Boston nine days ago, the Heat
have won 3 of 4 with their most recent win, a 23 point blowout of the Detroit
Both teams are rolling right
now but the 7 ½ points that the NBA odds makers are giving the Heat seems like a very sharp number
considering Miami's 24-3 straight up home record and the Green's 12-15 mark on
the highway. The Heat will most likely
be amped up and looking for revenge after their dismal display in Boston. To me, the NBA lines are perfect (Miami -7 ½ ) which makes either side a pass.
However, over the past three seasons, these
teams have lit it up down south. Eight
of 10 games have gone over the posted total as the Heat push the pace when the
crowd is in their favor and the other team is wearing Celtics green. Let's go Over 183 as the Heat will not be
lured into a slow-mo game plan as they were last time in Boston.
183 is the play.