Two of the top teams in the NBA’s Eastern Conference square off on Wednesday night when the Miami Heat (15-5) visit the Boston Celtics (14-5). The Heat are leading the Southeast Division, while the Celtics sit a half-game behind Toronto for the top spot in the Atlantic Division.
Miami has been playing some unreal basketball this year, and it has continued to be special. The Heat rallied late to knock off the Nets on Sunday, then took down the Raptors Tuesday night on the road. They have proven to be as tough as any team in the league, picking up wins left and right, against teams that look superior on paper. They have won 75 percent of their games despite several injuries, and it is showing that the culture is elite.
Boston has been winning plenty despite injuries as well, with Kemba Walker missing time, as well as Marcus Smart and Gordon Hayward. They were also without Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter through different stretches. This is also a group with a tremendous culture, talented two-way players at several positions, and a lot to offer. Brad Stevens has been doing a magnificent job this season, considering the Celtics lost their top two starters from the past few years this offseason. What a team these Celtics are.
The spread for Wednesday night’s game favors the short-handed Celtics by 6.5 points. The over/under is set at 211.
Miami Looks To Keep Things Rolling
Even with all of the injuries the Heat have suffered and constant lineup changes, everything has worked well. Duncan Robinson began his college career as a Division-III player; now he’s starting on a winning team in the pros. Kendrick Nunn went undrafted a few years ago, worked his tail off, and now he’s averaging 17 points in his first NBA season. Tyler Herro played one year in college, and now, he’s knocking down jumpers at a high rate in the pros. There are so many fundamentally sound players on the roster that it all works. Jimmy Butler is the clear leader here and makes sure it all works.
As the clear starter, we have seen Bam Adebayo improve by leaps and bounds, while Meyers Leonard has been doing a great job too. What a squad this is proving to be.
Celtics Try To Stay Hot
Unfortunately, the Celtics will probably not have Smart for this one, so it will be a little tougher to stop Butler, but they do have Jaylen Brown out there as a solid two-way wing. Jayson Tatum will likely also take on more responsibility. But one thing this team does not have is a guy that they can slot at the power forward spot with size, as Tatum primarily plays there. That was Al Horford for the most part last year, and Grant Williams is not the tallest guy. Semi Ojeleye is a candidate to possibly get some minutes there to try and bang with Leonard and Kelly Olynyk.
The Celtics dodged a bullet when Walker didn’t have to miss much time with a neck injury, and now they’ll need him to step up and lead. They also have Tatum and Brown out there to score.
Miami Picks Up A Road Win
Whether or not Dragic plays, the win is coming for the Heat. 16-5, whoa boy.
Free Play: MIA +6.5
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