Upstart Celtics Have Tall Order To Fill In Miami: Heat -3.5 the NBA Pick

Swinging Johnson

Monday, November 30, 2015 5:55 PM GMT

The Celtics kicked off a five game road swing in disappointing fashion last night while the Heat dismantled the Knicks on Friday night. Let’s see what the NBA odds makers are offering tonight.

Boston Celtics (9-8 SU, 8-9 ATS)
Head coach Brad Stevens has been lauded this season for getting every ounce out of the talent he has and employing a bench that spans virtually the entire roster. The Celtics are a young and improving team but after allowing only 158 combined points in victories over Philadelphia and Washington they fell apart in Orlando last night. The Magic outmuscled the Celtics on the glass outrebounding Boston 54-34 which resulted in a 110-91 loss.

"It's not just one guy, all five guys on the court were lacking," said Celtics’ forward Jae Crowder, who had 12 points. "They came up with every loose ball and every offensive rebound they got, they scored on or so it seemed. We have to get better on that."

It was a lackluster effort on both ends of the court for Boston who shot an anemic 18 ½ percent from three-point-land and 40.9 percent from the floor. The Celtics currently rank 8th in points allowed averaging 97.6 which made their defensive lapses against Orlando last night all the more startling. Orlando converted 17 offensive rebounds to bucket 26 points versus only 11 for the Green.

 

Miami Heat (10-5 SU, 7-8 ATS)
There was a time in Miami’s recent history that offense was first and foremost with LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade all filling the net from anywhere and everywhere. However, with James gone the team has been a defense-first team and the results are paying dividends as they are currently surrendering just 91.7 PPG which has them trailing only the San Antonio Spurs. In addition Miami’s point differential places them 6th in the league with a +4.6.

Small forward Luol Deng is expected to miss his third consecutive game with a strained hamstring which means former Celtic Jeff Green will be replacing him in the starting role. However if Green can turn in another stellar performance both offensively and defensively as he did in Friday night’s 97-78 win over the Knicks then no one will be asking about Deng’s injury status. Miami was installed as a one-point road favorite by the NBA Odds makers and never looked back as Green scored a season high 25 points and shutdown Carmelo Anthony limiting the New York superstar to only 11 points.

 

NBA Pick
Miami leads the Southeast division and has the third best record in the Eastern Conference yet that provides little solace for those who have included them in their NBA Picks this season as they are 7-8 ATS on the season. The Celtics have rendered a negative return for their backers as well despite a 9-8 regular season straight up record. The last time these two teams met in Miami the Green dribbled out of town with a 100-90 victory in March of last season.

But this is a new year and head coach Brad Stevens has been toying and tinkering with combinations all season long which has rendered positive results but it could be at the expense of developing chemistry among the starters. Boston is 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall while the Heat is hardly better covering in only two of their last seven contests.

This is not the game in which to bet the rent. However we have a young team coming off a big beating last night and asking them to hop on a plane to play one of the very best defenses the following evening is a tall order to fill. Miami has had three days to prepare and should be ready to rock while the C’s must make the cross country journey to Sacramento after this one is done.

NBA Picks: Play Miami -3 ½ at Pinnacle

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