LeBron James and the Miami Heat host the perceived last stand of the “Big Three” in Boston tonight, Monday May 28th, for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Boston had some success against the Heat in the regular season, winning three of four, including one in South Florida. NBA oddsmakers have the Heat as -8.5 point home favorites over the Celtics with the over/under set at 179 points. Be sure to check the Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat Game 1 2012 NBA Point Spreads before the game tips-off.
Boston (8-5, 2-4 V) needed seven games to dispose of a plucky, albeit offensively- challenged Philadelphia team. The Celtics finally eliminated the Sixers with a 85-75 win on Saturday. When Paul Pierce fouled out with 4:16 remaining, the 76ers had an opening to repeat their Game 7 magic from 30 years ago in Boston, but Andrew Toney wasn’t available and Rajon Rondo wouldn’t let the Celtics falter in the deciding game. Rondo scored 11 of his 18 points in the final quarter, including nine in a row for his team right after Pierce left the game as Boston beat Philadelphia. Rondo, who also had 10 rebounds and 10 assists, recorded his ninth career playoff triple-double.
“It gives us some sort of confidence,” Pierce said when asked about the C’s wins over Miami. “We know we are capable of going in their building and getting the win. But they’re a different team. They’re in a playoff mindset team now. You know it’s a lot different from regular season to playoffs. Teams get a chance to scout you.”
The Celtics are now without guard Avery Bradley, the defensive stalwart who was shut down in the Sixers series with chronic shoulder problems.
Miami (8-3, 5-1 H) got knocked to the canvas by the Indiana Pacers in the conference semifinals before responding like a champion. The Heat are headed back to the East finals for the second straight season after closing out the Pacers with three straight wins. Wade scored 41 points and James added 28 as the Miami knocked off Indiana, 105-93, in the Game 6 clincher Thursday night.
A pair of injuries, one for each team, could loom large in the upcoming series. Heat big man Chris Bosh has been sidelined since Game 2 of the Indiana series with a strained abdominal muscle and there is still no timetable for the veteran All-Star’s return. That could turn out to be a major issue for Miami since Bosh would have been called on to handle Kevin Garnett much of the time.
This will be the third straight season that the Heat and Celtics will meet in the playoffs. Boston won in five games in 2010 in the first round and the Heat won in five last year in the semifinals.
“Last year is in the past,” Rondo said. “This year we are a totally different team. We feel we can beat Miami. Obviously we got to this point. There’s no doubt in my mind that we can, so we gotta go down there and take care of business.”
The Bottom Line: The Celtics are the only team that can give the Heat a run for their money. The Heat will take tonight’s game, then the Celtics will have them figured out. Want to dominate the books this season with some of the best NBA Picks Experts in the business? Then sign up right now and get NBA Picks Free!
Recent Trends to Consider:
Celtics are 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
Over is 16-5 in the last 21 meetings in Miami.
Home team is 11-4 ATS in the last 15 meetings.
Favorite is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
Celtics are 5-1-2 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Monday games.
Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Conference Finals games.
Heat are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
Heat are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 home games.
Celtics are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win.
Celtics are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 1 days rest.
Celtics are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a S.U. win.
Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat
When: Monday, May 28th@8:30 PM EST
Pick: Heat -8.5
Point-Spreads recommends you check the Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat 2012 NBA Point Spreads before the tip-off.