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The Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics are two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, and they are going to really be going at it for what could be an epic second round series in NBA betting action.
How the Celtics Can Win This Series
Boston badly needs to be able to shore up its defense in this series better than it was in Games 1 and 2 against the New York Knicks. However, Head Coach Doc Rivers has a veteran team which really knows how to keep the energy turned up when push really comes to shove. The ‘D’ allowed just 89 points in Game 4 against New York, but this was a significantly better game than the stats really suggest.
It would really help if someone is able to step up to help out the veteran players for Boston. Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, and Kevin Garnett all had absolutely remarkable series again the Knicks. Pierce was good for 22.2 points per game in the first round, while Allen was just behind at 22.0 points per game. The man that really made the offense go was Rondo at 19.0 points, 12.0 assists, and 7.2 rebounds per game. Garnett averaged a double-double as well at 15.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. Glen Davis and Jeff Green only contributed a dozen points between them on average. Their contributions weren’t needed against New York, but you can bet that they will have to be against the Heat.
The big question is whether there is going to be a big man that can help out in the paint. KG can only do so much, and Big Baby Davis just isn’t quite there. Jermaine O’Neal only averaged 5.5 points and 4.0 boards per game, and Nenad Krstic really didn’t make any contributions against the Knicks either.
How the Heat Can Win This Series
Miami might have needed five games to take care of the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs, but we tend to believe that this was a better series for its long term health in the playoffs than the short series was for the Celtics. Again, defense is going to be key, as the Heat really didn’t play all that well on this side of the ball at all times against Boston this year.
The Heat are also going to have to get over their own problems of playing against teams that were legitimate contenders to beat the NBA Finals odds. They really didn’t play well against teams like Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and the likes on this season.
Just like Boston though, the Heat are really struggling trying to get production outside of their biggest scorers. Of course, there isn’t a much more talented trio in the league than LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. The three combined for over 65 points, 28 boards, and over 12 assists per game. James Jones and Mario Chalmers both averaged right around seven points per game, while Joel Anthony and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had decent contributions as rebounders and blocked shot artists.
The Last Word – Home court advantage is going to be absolutely key in this series. We tend to believe that both teams can steal one game on the road, but when push comes to shove, Rivers and company are really going to kick themselves for giving up in those last few games of the season when they could have earned Game 7 at home. The Heat will just barely live to tell about a series with the defending conference champs. NBA Playoffs Picks: Heat in 7