Miami Heat

This Bam Adebayo block sealed a Miami Game 1 win in the East Finals over Boston. Photo by @CBSSportsNBA (Twitter).

  • The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics play Game 2 of the East Finals on Thursday (Sept. 17, 7 pm EST)
  • Miami took the series opener 117-114 in OT
  • See below for a betting preview and prediction for Game 2

Raise your hand if you predicted the Miami Heat would be in the East Finals. Now raise your hand if you predicted they’d steal Game 1 after trailing by as many as 14 points to the Boston Celtics in the 4th quarter. I’m going to assume that not many hands are raised, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Heat are rolling in the 2020 playoffs.

Miami is 9-1 in 10 postseason games and will now look to take a 2-0 series lead over Boston when the two teams meet again on Thursday at 7 pm EST.

Heat vs Celtics Game 2 Odds

Team Spread at FanDuel Moneyline Total
Miami Heat +1.5 (-110) +102 Over 209.0 (-110)
Boston Celtics -1.5 (-110) -120 Under 209.0 (-110)

Odds taken Sept. 15th.

Despite Miami’s stellar play however, it’s Boston who opened up as a 1.5-point favorite in the Heat vs Celtics odds. Game 2 features a total of 209 which seems low, but don’t forget these are two of the best defensive teams in the playoffs.

Miami Ice Cold Under Pressure

With time running out, and the ball in Jason Tatum’s hands, we appeared to be heading for double overtime. Tatum blew past Jimmy Butler on his way in for a game-tying dunk, but Bam Adebayo wasn’t having it.


The game saving block sent shockwaves around the basketball world, and preserved yet another unlikely Miami win. The Heat thought they had won the game in regulation after Butler nailed a go-ahead 3 in the final seconds, but a questionable off ball foul allowed the Celtics to force overtime.

Butler would not be denied however, as he converted a three-point play with 12 seconds remaining in OT to once again put Miami on top. The 31-year-old scored 8 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, living up to his nickname Jimmy Buckets.

A Memorable Night Nonetheless

Lost in the aftermath of the Game 1 thriller was a pair of standout performances by Boston players. Tatum put up 30 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists, joining Larry Bird as the only players in Celtics history to record at least 25/10/5 in three consecutive playoff games.

Marcus Smart also had himself a night, scoring a personal 2020 postseason best 26 points, while draining 6-of-13 three-point attempts. Smart has knocked down at least five 3’s in four separate games during this year’s playoffs, joining Ray Allen as the only Boston players to ever do that.

Big games from both Tatum and Smart were needed to offset a relatively quiet night from Kemba Walker. The star guard finished with 19 points, but was quiet through the first three quarters and only hit one of his nine three-point attempts.

Expect Another Scrappy Affair

The Adebayo block is going to get all the headlines, and rightfully so, but lost in the shuffle is how hard both of these teams play on defense. Virtually every shot was contested in Game 1, and no one took a possession off all night. The two teams combined for 15 steals and 12 blocks which is only a sign of things to come.

Boston and Miami are rated first and fourth in defense efficiency in the postseason, and ranked fourth and 10th respectively in points allowed per 100 possessions in the regular season. Their dominant defenses have led to the vast majority of their playoff games staying under the total, and Game 1 was headed that way as well until a late offensive flurry in the fourth quarter.

The under is 11-3 in the Celtics 14 postseason games, and 7-3 in the Heat’s 10 playoff contests. Expect the under to rear its ugly head in Game 2.

Pick: Under 209 (-110)

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