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Heat On Short Rest For Showdown With Celtics

Jimmy Butler dribbles the ball up the court

Any hopes the Heat have of overtaking Boston for the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs hinge on a win over the Celtics on Tuesday. However, Miami lost Monday afternoon to Toronto and is just 3-7-2 ATS in its last 12 games playing the second half of a back-to-back.


Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat
  • Date/Time: August 4, 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: HP Field House
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Celtics -3.5 | O/U 223 (Line History)
  • Celtics vs Heat Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Miami closed as a 2.5-point underdog Monday against Toronto, and oddsmakers opened the spread 1 point higher against the Celtics — likely due to Miami’s back-to-back situation. Boston has won each of the last five meetings by at least five points.

Boston News & Notes

Any concerns about Jayson Tatum losing his touch during the shutdown quickly disappeared Sunday against Portland. Two days after missing 16 of his 18 shots in a loss to the Bucks, the forward scored 21 points in the first half alone and finished with a team-high 34.

Unsung teammate Jaylen Brown added 30 — 16 of which came in the fourth quarter when he hit all four of his three-point attempts — as four of Boston’s five starters scored in double digits. Those four included guard Kemba Walker, who played just 22 minutes Sunday and is expected to be limited to a similar number Tuesday as he continues to nurse a sore knee.

Head coach Brad Stevens was pleased with how his team responded down the stretch of a tight game, but he might also be a bit concerned about the Celtics’ defense. Boston has given up an average of 121.5 points in its two games in the bubble and let a 24-point lead disappear against the Blazers.

Dating back to late February, Boston has allowed 111 points or more in four of its last seven games, going 5-2 to the OVER during that span.

Miami News & Notes

Third in the East is still very much in play for the Heat, whose regular-season schedule closes with contests vs Phoenix, Indiana (twice) and Oklahoma City. But it likely won’t mean much unless they can find a way to beat Boston, something they’ve failed to do in the last five meetings — including 109-101 and 112-93 decisions earlier this season.

The Heat also need to turn around their recent struggles when playing on short rest. Coach Erik Spoelstra seemed to have the potential of fatigue on his mind in Monday’s game against the Raptors, giving 10 different players at least 16 minutes of floor time and not playing any of his starters more than 34 minutes.

But Miami fought back hard against Toronto, overcoming a 17-point third-quarter deficit before succumbing 107-103, and there could be a hangover effect against the Celtics. Miami is just 5-6 SU this year on zero days’ rest and has covered just three of its last 12 games in that situation.

Betting Pick: UNDER 223

The Heat won’t want to turn this game into a track meet, and I expect Boston to focus on cleaning up the defensive end of the floor as the Celtics continue to ramp up for the playoffs.


Shark Bites
  • The OVER is 5-2 in the Celtics’ last 7 games.
  • The Heat are 3-7-2 ATS in their last 12 games when playing for the second consecutive day.
  • The UNDER is 4-1 in the Heat’s last 5 games vs the Celtics.