Months removed from their fierce Eastern Conference Finals showdown last season, the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat will cross paths again this Saturday down in South Beach. Will the Celtics go 2-0 to start the season? Or, will the Heat score some measure of revenge and beat Boston?
Catch this game live on Saturday, October 22, at 7:30 am, Manila time
Away: Boston Celtics (1-0/0-0 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Marcus Smart
- SG: Derrick White
- SF: Jaylen Brown
- PF: Jayson Tatum
- C: Al Horford
The Celtics mean business. With shot-creating monsters in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown leading the way, the Celtics destroyed a legitimate title contender last Wednesday at home in their season opener, defeating the Philadelphia 76ers, 126-117. Tatum and Brown each scored 35 points while also shooting above 50 FG% combined. Boston’s defense did not look as tight in that game as it used to last season, but that did not seem to be too much of a problem for them with their top guns firing on all cylinders.
Miami knows Tatum and Brown will always be the focal points of the Celtics’ attack, but it’s the x-factors for Boston who could spell the difference on Saturday. Newcomer Malcolm Brogdon had 16 points and 2 steals against the Sixers, while Grant Williams scored 15, with both players coming off the bench. Brogdon is another fantastic two-way player for the Celtics who could help lessen the load on the shoulders of Tatum and Brown, especially on defense where he joins forces with Derrick White and Derrick White in a deep Boston backcourt.
Home: Miami Heat (0-1/0-1 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kyle Lowry
- SG: Tyler Herro
- SF: Caleb Martin
- PF: Jimmy Butler
- C: Bam Adebayo
Unlike the Celtics, Miami faltered right out of the gate, as they got trounced by the Chicago Bulls at home in their series opener, 116-108. Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 24 points, while Tyler Herro fired 23 points. Max Strus also came off the bench and dropped 22 points on the strength of five 3-pointers. As a team, Miami shot 12/28 from behind the arc, and the Heat are hoping they could remain hot from deep against Boston. Herro, Strus, and Duncan Robinson can definitely stretch the floor for Miami.
Kyle Lowry can be counted upon to be a 3-point threat even though he went 0/5 on his 3-point attempts against Chicago as he is a career 36.8 3FG% shooter. The Heat have the firepower to keep Boston’s defense honest around the perimeter and let Bam Adebayo create plays on his own inside against the Celtics’ frontcourt that is stretched thin with Robert Williams injured. But don’t sleep on Adebayo’s ability to find his teammates, as he is averaging 3.5 assists per game in his career which is pretty good for a center. The Heat are 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games after a loss.