Can the Heat make the Finals? The Heat will clinch a spot in the NBA finals with a win at home against the Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The game is expected to tip-off at 08:30 PM ET, Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023.
Given their dominance throughout the first three games, it’s surprising the Heat come into Game 4 only a 1.5 point favorite, with many expecting the Celtics to keep it close.
Led by the scintillating play of Jimmy Butler and consistent performances from Bam Adebayo, the eighth-seeded Heat have embarked on an astonishing journey through the Eastern Conference playoffs.
In their most recent game, the Heat received a significant boost from a group of undrafted players, including Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson, Caleb Martin, and Max Strus. Their combined efforts helped Miami secure a commanding 3-0 series lead over the second-seeded Celtics in the Eastern Conference final, following a resounding 128-102 victory.
Miami’s undrafted quartet stepped up admirably, allowing Butler and Adebayo to shine while contributing a total of 79 points. Their assertiveness and impressive shooting helped the Heat dictate the game on their terms, with head coach Erik Spoelstra praising their crucial contributions. Meanwhile, Boston’s celebrated duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown struggled, failing to find their rhythm and shooting poorly from both the field and beyond the arc.
While a 3-0 deficit is historically challenging to overcome in the NBA, the Celtics and their fans can draw inspiration from remarkable comebacks in sports history. However, the Heat’s remarkable performance, along with their exceptional three-point shooting, has put them in a commanding position. Miami’s undrafted players have played above expectations, giving the team additional firepower alongside their star players.
ODDS AND PREDICTIONS
Miami, the underdog, enters the final game of the series as favorites and is expected to complete the sweep at home. Their unbeaten record on their home court throughout the playoffs adds to their confidence.
Despite Boston appearing deeper on paper, Miami has showcased their depth and received contributions from various players. The Celtics’ star players, Tatum and Brown, have struggled significantly, particularly in Game 3, where they struggled with their shooting and made minimal impact.
Despite any coaching advantages for the Celtics, the star duo should have put up a stronger fight. In contrast, role players tend to excel in their home environment, as evident in Game 3. Although Butler had a quieter scoring night, his leadership will ensure Miami remains focused with their 3-0 lead. Expect Miami to conclude the series and avoid a return trip to Boston.
Spread: Heat -1.5
Moneyline: Heat -118, Celtics +100
Pick: Heat -1.5
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