Will Beantown be jumping on Sunday night or will it be party time on South Beach?
After the Boston Celtics cut the Miami Heat’s lead in the Eastern Conference Finals to 2-1, Kevin Garnett declared that the strategy had been to win by “any means necessary.” And the underdogs from Boston believe they have finally found a formula to exploit the weaknesses in the armoury of the NBA title favourites.
But can they continue their fightback or was that just a blip in the series?
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra has confirmed that Chris Bosh won’t be back in action tonight despite returning to light practice. Yet again, he will turn to his Big Two to push the Celtics to the brink. But they will feel Bosh’s absence. On Friday, Boston repeatedly pushed the ball inside to Kevin Garnett to take advantage of the Heat’s soft middle as the veteran All Star helped himself to 24 points and 11 rebounds in the C’s 101-91 victory.
It also brings up a sense of déjà vue. When these two teams last year in the East semis, Miami held sway in the first two games in Florida, then Boston took Game 3 back at base. Then, the Heat began to sizzle, pulling out a 4-1 series win. This time around, it’s still a long shot for the Celtics to end up in the Finals with 2 of the last 3 games on the road.
But they’ll not give this up without a fight. To level matters at 2-2, Boston will need to hold Miami in check so it’s worth going under the points tally of 180.5 at 1.78 in what could be a tense pivotal encounter at the TD Garden. And with the Heat starting as favourites by just 1.5 points, forget the handicap and back the Celtics at 2.06.
Bet of the Day: Go under a total of 180.5 points including overtime at 1.78.