The Boston Celtics find themselves in a must-win situation in tonight’s, Friday June 1st, Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the visiting Miami Heat. The Heat needed five games to oust Boston in last season’s East semifinals. Only 14 teams in NBA history have rallied from an 0-2 hole to win a best-of-seven series. NBA oddsmakers have the Celtics as -2.5 point home favorites over the Heat with the over/under set at 181 points. Be sure to check the Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics Eastern Conference Finals Game 3 2012 NBA Point Spreads before the game tips-off.
Miami (10-3, 3-2 V) rallied from a 15-point deficit and prevailed in overtime to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. LeBron James scored 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade scored eight of his 23 points in overtime. Mario Chalmers scored 22 for the Heat, who took 47 free throws — 24 by James — to Boston’s 29. It was the fifth straight game where Miami outscored its opponent by double-digits in the third quarter. In each of the previous four of those outings, Miami never trailed in the final period.
Don’t tell the Heat this series is over. They know better. “All we did was win two at home,” Wade said. “That’s a very good team over there that we know is going to give us everything — their all — come the next four days when they get two at home in Boston.”
Miami’s ability to spring for 18 second-chance points and 13 offensive rebounds, including four each from James and Udonis Haslem did in the Celtics. The Celtics identified the need for more physicality after Game 1. But there’s nothing like an offensive rebound to take the air out of a great defensive rotation.
Boston (8-7, 6-1 H) point guard Rajon Rondo had a game for the ages in Game 2. Rondo finished with a remarkable 44-point, 10-assist, eight-rebound effort, playing every moment of a 53-minute game. Boston’s core of Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen combined to score 96 points in Game 2, the most they’ve ever scored in a game together, and it still wasn’t enough.
“We still know we have to play better,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said Thursday. “But I think our guys know now that we can play (with Miami). And I don’t know if they did know it or not, but after Game 1, it was such a bad loss for us, I think we needed to have that type of game last night. Obviously, we’d have rather won it. But I think our guys are very confident going into Game 3.”
“We have to understand what’s beating us right now,” said Paul Pierce. “They got the offensive rebounds, the loose balls and the kickouts for 3’s. They kicked out to Chalmers or Shane Battier for a 3, and it’s demoralizing when you play good defense for so long. We have to be able to make it one possession, rebound and get the ball out.”
The Bottom Line: The Celtics have to close the game out in the fourth quarter and not allow James or Wade to get to the hoop. 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:
Home team is 12-5 ATS in the last 17 meetings.
Heat are 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings.
Heat are 1-8 ATS in the last 9 meetings in Boston.
Heat are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
Heat are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Conference Finals games.
Heat are 17-4 ATS in their last 21 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
Heat are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
Celtics are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games following a S.U. loss.
Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff games as a favorite of 0.5-4.5.
Heat are 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a road underdog.
Heat are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games as a road underdog of 0.5-4.5.
Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics
When: Friday, June 1st@8:30 PM EST
Pick: Celtics -2.5
Point-Spreads recommends you check the Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics 2012 NBA Point Spreads before the tip-off.