Is Jimmy Butler playing tonight? Jimmy Butler is expected to play for the Heat as they look to clinch a spot in the NBA finals with a win on the road against the Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The game is expected to tip-off at 08:30 PM ET, Thursday, May 25th, 2023.
Given that the Celtics return back to Boston, it’s no surprise they come into Game 5 an 8 point favorite, with many expecting the Celtics to secure the win comfortably.
After avoiding a sweep by the Heat, the Celtics are already discussing their desire to return to South Florida. However, their talk will only become reality if they can fend off elimination in Game 5.
Jayson Tatum’s remarkable performance, scoring 25 of his 33 points in the second half, led the Celtics to a 116-99 victory in Game 4. Despite their improved spirits, they still trail 3-1 in the series.
While the Celtics aim to carry the momentum into Game 5, TD Garden has not been a friendly environment for them in the playoffs, with five losses in their last seven home games.
The Heat missed their chance to secure a spot in the NBA Finals and join the ranks of the few eighth-seeded teams to achieve such a feat. They could now face significant roster changes with players carrying injuries from Game 4. Butler remains optimistic, urging his teammates to believe in each other and play with increased intensity.
Caleb Martin’s strong performance and the team’s disappointment serve as a reminder that the road ahead won’t be easy. However, they see it as valuable preparation for future challenges. The Celtics’ aspiration to return to Miami hinges on their ability to win in Game 5 and overcome the 3-1 deficit they currently face.
ODDS AND PREDICTIONS
Despite being down 3-1 in the series and losing two home games, don’t hesitate to bet on the Celtics. They have a tendency to win games by large margins instead of close finishes, which is significant.
Their recent victory over Miami was by a 17-point margin, and they won all their games against Philadelphia and Atlanta by 9 or more points. The Celtics will approach the upcoming game with a sense of desperation, similar to Game 4, and their opponents struggle to keep up when Boston finds their rhythm.
Although this could be their last opportunity before Game 6 in Miami, the Celtics will extend the series. Expect a convincing win from Boston, choosing them to win the game and cover the point spread.
Spread: Celtics -8
Moneyline: Heat +250, Celtics -310
Pick: Celtics -8
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