- The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat matchup for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday
- The series is tied at two wins apiece following Boston’s blowout win in Game 4
- Read below for Celtics vs Heat Game 5 odds and our preview
The Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday, May 25th. Miami regained homecourt advantage with a win in Boston, but they then faced a Game 4 drubbing. With injury concerns looming around both teams ahead of this pivotal game, the Celtics are favored by 1.5 points at FanDuel.
Three of the four games in this series have been decided by 11 or more points. The total has gone over this 203.5 line in three of four, though just 184 points were scored in Boston’s Game 4 win. These teams own the best against the spread records this postseason. Boston is 10-5 ATS. Miami is 9-6.
Celtics vs Heat Game 5 Odds
|Boston Celtics||-1.5 (-108)||-118||Over 203.5 (-110)|
|Miami Heat||+1.5 (-112)||+100||Under 203.5 (-110)|
Odds as of May 24 at FanDuel Sportsbook
Health Concerns for Both Teams
Miami’s injury report has been cluttered all postseason. Kyle Lowry is back, but Max Strus, P.J. Tucker, Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent were questionable going into Game 4. Butler didn’t take the court in the second half of Game 3, and uncertainty remains over how available he will be for the rest of this series. Tucker has battled through numerous injuries, while Herro is expected to return for Wednesday’s game after sitting out the blowout on Monday.
Boston didn’t have Marcus Smart for the Game 4 win due to increased swelling in his ankle. Robert Williams III played, and was impactful at both ends, but he’s thought to be day-to-day for the rest of this postseason as he plays through knee soreness.
Celtics guard Marcus Smart will miss Game 4 vs. Miami tonight. There has been increased swelling in his sprained right ankle.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 23, 2022
The good news for Ime Udoka is that Jayson Tatum has been able to play on despite a scary-looking injury a couple of games ago. Derrick White put in 40 strong minutes in Smart’s absence, and Jaylen Brown has been able to play a full role after being limited earlier in the postseason.
Heat Offense Struggles Again
It’s remarkable that Boston’s defense can be so great even when the Defensive Player of the Year is unavailable. They locked the Heat up from first tip in Game 4, holding them to just one point through the first six minutes. Al Horford and Williams made it almost impossible for Miami to get to the bucket, while White, Tatum and Brown were exceptional on the perimeter.
The Heat starters combined for 18 points tonight.
The fewest in a playoff game since the NBA merger. pic.twitter.com/dQc3iNnbEF
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 24, 2022
The Heat’s starters combined for just 18 points, the lowest mark since such stats were first tracked in 1970. Where Jimmy Butler has been superb this postseason, the former Bull was unable to get separation and ended up three-for-14 from the field with no free throws. There has been fair skepticism about the Heat’s half court offense this season, and those worries came to fruition in an extreme way in Game 4. Looking ahead to Game 5, it’s fair to expect them to shoot better from outside, but they are incredibly reliant on Butler putting up big scoring numbers.
Jimmy Butler only had 6 points in the Heat’s game 5 loss vs Boston
This is just the 5th time he had 6 points or less in a playoff game that he started. pic.twitter.com/6QMD50H46q
— SB Nation (@SBNation) May 24, 2022
Herro’s return should help the offense, but Miami still needs its defense to be more effective against Tatum, who had 24 first-half points on Monday night. If Butler is ineffective, the Heat do not have the firepower to keep pace with Boston.
Celtics vs Heat Game 5 Prediction
This series has swung dramatically several times already. Boston were up against it going into Game 4, particularly with Smart out, but it feels like it’s back in their hands after such a dominant win. The best version of the Celtics is better than the best version of the Heat, though consistency is a concern for Boston, and they can’t afford for Tatum to have another poor night from the field.
Jayson Tatum: "I'm mad after a bad game, but then I sleep it off. I'm a big believer in you can't change what happened."
Also said "Regardless of whether I have 10 points or 46 points, the next day is the next day."
And: "I don't doubt myself. I know how to play basketball."
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) May 24, 2022
It has been a bruising series for both teams. Homecourt advantage will help Miami on Wednesday, but the injuries seem to be really taking their toll. They were always going to need the best of Butler to win this series, and his Game 4 performance doesn’t inspire much confidence as the series returns to Florida.
Boston is good value to cover the 1.5-point spread and have a chance to wrap the series up at home.
Pick: Celtics -1.5 (-108)