Is Malcolm Brogdon playing? Brogdon is listed as probable for the Celtics who host the Heat for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The game is expected to tip-off at 08:30 PM ET, Friday, May 19th, 2023.
Given their Game 1 loss, it’s surprising the Celtics come into Game 2 an extended 9 point favorite, with many expecting them to bounce back from the disappointing defeat.
The Celtics are trailing the Heat 0-1 in the Eastern Conference finals rematch. Despite their Game 1 loss, the Celtics remain determined to bounce back. They had a strong first half but collapsed in the third quarter, allowing the Heat to dominate. Celtics guard Jaylen Brown emphasized the importance of looking forward and preparing for the next game.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics in scoring with 30 points, but struggled in the fourth quarter, failing to attempt a field-goal and committing turnovers. Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat had an outstanding performance with 35 points, seven assists, six steals, and five rebounds. Butler has been exceptional throughout the playoffs, averaging 31.5 points in 11 games.
The Heat seized homecourt advantage with their Game 1 win and draw motivation from being counted out early on. They overcame adversity and surprise by reaching the playoffs through the play-in tournament and defeating strong teams like the Bucks and the Knicks.
The Celtics face pressure to avoid falling behind 0-2, with the next two games taking place in Miami. Coach Joe Mazzulla defended his team but acknowledged the need to focus on details and execute their game plan effectively.
ODDS AND PREDICTIONS
Historically, when the home team loses Game 1 of a series, they often come back strong in Game 2 and secure a convincing victory. This pattern has been evident in recent postseason matchups. For instance, the Boston Celtics lost Game 1 to Philadelphia but responded with an impressive 34-point win in Game 2.
Similarly, the Heat defeated the Bucks in Game 1 but suffered a 16-point loss in Game 2. Even the Lakers, who won Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors, experienced a 27-point defeat in Game 2.
In such situations, the higher-seeded team usually demonstrates their superiority and plays with a sense of urgency, while the road team may become complacent after winning the opening game.
As Boston faces this predicament, they must make strategic decisions regarding their lineup, considering whether to stick with the big lineup featuring Robert Williams III or return to a small ball approach with White in the starting lineup. Regardless, players like Tatum and Brown are expected to rise to the occasion and deliver exceptional performances in Game 2.
Additionally, Miami’s shooting is likely to cool off, as it is unrealistic to maintain a shooting percentage of over 50 percent from beyond the arc throughout the series. Based on historical trends, it is reasonable to trust the home team to rebound in a significant manner during Game 2.
Considering these factors, it is advisable to take the Celtics to win and cover the spread in Game 2.
Spread: Celtics -9
Moneyline: Celtics -400, Heat +315
Pick: Celtics -9
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