The Miami Heat will look to continue their dominance by extending their lead over the Boston Celtics in the second game of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight. A lead of 2 games will surely put a lot of pressure on the opposition.
Miami had a fantastic night in the first game against the Celtics. They were trailing by 8 points at halftime. Before the second half, head coach Erik Spoelstra’s locker room speech seemed to do wonders as his men turned things around in the next two quarters. Jimmy Butler was the shining star once again as he scored 41 points with 9 rebounds and 5 assists and continued his excellent form in the postseason.
The Boston Celtics can blame only themselves for losing the momentum in the final phase of Game 1. The absence of Marcus Smart and Al Horford was a big disadvantage for the Celtics. Smart was suffering from a foot injury and Horford was out because of health and safety protocols. Both the players are expected to return to the squad for Game 2.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown added 53 points together but they needed more support from the other players to avoid a loss. The Celtics need to be ready for another mammoth task against the Heat at the FTX Arena tonight.
HEAT VS CELTICS GAME 2 PREDICTION: RECENT FORM
The Miami Heat qualified for the East Finals by giving a 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in the East Semifinals. Earlier they got a 4-1 win against the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. The Miami Heat had a fantastic regular-season as well as they finished at 53-29 as the table leaders of the Eastern Conference.
The Boston Celtics defeated the defending champions, Milwaukee Bucks in the East Semifinals. In the first playoff round, they crushed the Brooklyn Nets with a series score of 4-0. The Celtics’ campaign in the regular season ended at 51-31 at the second position in the Eastern Conference.
CELTICS VS HEAT GAME 2 PREDICTION AND NBA ODDS: HEAD TO HEAD IN PLAYOFFS
There have been 24 playoff encounters between these two sides till now. The Miami Heat are ahead as they won 14 of them, while the Boston Celtics won 10 games. They met in the Conference Finals in the NBA 2019-20 season.
The Miami Heat won that round 4-2 against the Boston Celtics. Miami won Game 1 of the current series last Tuesday with a score of 118-107.
WINNING ON THE ROAD WOULD BOOST THE BOSTON CELTICS CHANCES
The Heat is fabulous at home with 29-12, while their away record isn’t as great. In the regular season, they finished with a 24-17 record on the road, which is only slightly better than the away record of the Boston Celtics.
On top of that, Miami’s away performances in the postseason haven’t been too impressive. We saw them lose three of the five playoff games they’ve played on the road.
Knowing all this, the Boston Celtics have every right to hope for some good results once the finals move to Massachusetts. After all, they were the second-best team in the conference in terms of home performances in the regular season.
If they managed to win in Florida on Thursday, the tide would probably turn in their favor. So, can they do it? Well, they did it once in the regular season. It happened in November when they won 95-78.
CAN MIAMI HEAT CONTINUE PLAYING GREAT?
These guys were fantastic in the first game of the Eastern Conference finals series. Led by Jimmy Butler, they did fantastic in the offense, scoring a total of 118 points. Butler scored 41 points that evening, which was one of his best performances of the season.
It seems that this guy loves playing against the Celtics. The proof is that he was Miami’s scoring leader in three of their previous four duels with Boston.
On Tuesday, the Heat’s defense also did a relatively good job. They were able to keep the Celtics to 107 points. It doesn’t seem too impressive, but you should keep in mind that Boston players usually score more than that.
HEAT VS CELTICS PREDICTION: PREDICTED WINNER
The Miami Heat is surely having an upper hand in Game 2 because of the winning momentum from the first game and the home support tonight. However, they would like to see a comprehensive performance from all other players apart from Butler.
On the other hand, the Boston Celtics need to learn from their mistakes in the last game to level the series. They have already done it thrice in the Semifinal Round against the Bucks. All the prediction and betting platforms are favoring the Heat over the Celtics for this clash.