The red-hot Miami Heat take on yet another challenger, this time in the form of the Boston Celtics, who are eyeing to break the Heat’s lengthy unbeaten streak.
Catch this game live on Friday, November 5, at 7:30 AM, Manila time
Away: Boston Celtics (3-5/3-2 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Marcus Smart
- SG: Jaylen Brown
- SF: Jayson Tatum
- PF: Al Horford
- C: Robert Williams III
The Celtics stopped their bleeding with a 92-79 road win against the Orlando Magic on Thursday. Before that, Boston was on a three-game losing skid, with frustrations reaching the point where Marcus Smart called out Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum for lack of willingness to share the ball. That seemed to have a positive impact on Boston, as evidenced by the Celtics’ success against Orlando. Tatum scored 14 points to go with three assists in that game, while Brown led the way with 28 points with three dimes.
Smart only had eight points, but he locked down Cole Anthony, who went just 4-of-18 from the field. Smart’s defense will be very much needed by Boston against the Heat, particularly on Jimmy Butler, who’s been torching defenders this season. Smart can defend anyone from 1 to 5 and Butler will just be another welcome challenge to Smart, arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA today. The Celtics are 4-3 ATS in their last seven visits to South Beach.
Home: Miami Heat (6-1/3-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kyle Lowry
- SG: Duncan Robinson
- SF: Jimmy Butler
- PF: P.J. Tucker
- C: Bam Adebayo
Miami has been unstoppable. The Heat stretched their win streak to five games with a 125-110 road win over the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday. Now, the Heat return to their headquarters, where they are undefeated so far this season. The last time they were in South Beach, the Heat ripped the Charlotte Hornets, 114-99. Miami is clicking on both ends of the floor. It’s second overall in scoring with 115.6 points per game and second as well in scoring defense with only 98.9 points allowed per game.
Bam Adebayo’s presence in the middle and the backcourt tandem of Kyle Lowry and Butler combine for two levels of nearly impenetrable forts for Miami, which is also no. 1 in the NBA with a 98.5 adjusted defensive rating. Against the Mavs, Butler had 23 points, Lowry put up 22 points and dished out nine assists, while Adebayo posted a double-double of 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Heat, who are 23-17 ATS in games after a win since the 2020-21 NBA season.
Straight up, there’s no need to overthink this one. The Heat are the better team, offensively and defensively. Plus they’re playing at home, where they are undefeated this season, thus far. But I also don’t want to pass up the chance to bet on Boston with a mid-sized spread as a road underdog, considering that the Celtics might have just have turned the corner with that win against Orlando. Take the Celtics (+8).
The real potential of the Celtics’ defense showed up versus Orlando. This Boston-Miami game will be a defensive battle more than anything else. Take the Under (215.0)