A week ago, the Boston Celtics scorched the Miami Heat to leave the NBA title favourites in a funk. It will be harder to achieve similar ignition on the road however on Tuesday night.
Disproving the theories that their era is now bygone, a resurgent Boston have provided glimpses of their glorious past with some stellar play since the All Star break, winning eight of their last 10 including that 91-72 blow out of Miami at the TD Garden.
Since then, Boston suffered losses to Chicago and San Antonio but rebounded to see off Philadelphia and Indiana. While the Heat calmed their own nerves, and silenced some of the doubters, by grafting out a victory over Oklahoma City but then saw their 17-game winning streak at home ended by Memphis.
Miami, who should have Dwyane Wade back in their line-up, are favoured by 7.5 points here. However with the Celtics grinding out solid defensive performances, it's worth a bet on Boston to keep the game much closer.
There's another revenge mission planned in Chicago where the Bulls owe the New York Knicks some payback after Sunday's overtime loss in the Big Apple.
If there was any doubt about the validity of New York's toughened mentality under Mike Woodson, it was erased by the way the Knicks brushed aside the pressure and corralled the Bulls as Carmelo Anthony led them to an eleventh win in 14 under the interim head coach.
Chicago, 22-6 at home this season, is trying to retain the top seed in the league and coach Tom Thibodeau was frustrated at the mistakes made by his team two days ago. With Derrick Rose shaking off his ring rust, expect less errors and a better performance. But with New York available at + 6 on the over/under at 187.5, a punt on the Knicks is tempting.
Bet of the Day: Take the Over on 187.5 total points in New York @ Chicago.