- The Boston Celtics host the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals
- Heat star Jimmy Butler (knee) is questionable for Monday
- See the Heat vs Celtics Game 4 odds, preview and prediction below
Perhaps the only certainty as we get to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics is that nothing is certain.
After a Boston demolition in Game 2 that evened the series 1-1, they returned home … to trail by as many as 26 in the first half, dropping Game 3 109-103.
Oddsmakers are banking on a major bounceback when the teams collide Monday night at TD Garden, pegging Boston as 6.5-point favorites — a hefty number, considering there are question marks on both teams (more on that below).
Heat vs Celtics Game 4 Odds
|Miami Heat||+230||+6.5 (-110)||Ov 208.5 (-110)|
|Boston Celtics||-280||-6.5 (-110)||Un 208.5 (-110)|
Odds as of May 22nd at Barstool Sportsbook
It all gets underway at 8:30pm ET, in a game that can be seen live on ABC.
A stunning development coming out of halftime was the status of Jimmy Butler, who was ruled out for the rest of the game with right knee inflammation. It’s the same knee that forced him out for a game in the Atlanta series. Butler’s status for Monday is questionable.
Miami’s offense stagnated even further in the second half when Tyler Herro, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year, was seen on the sideline with a wrap on his thigh. Herro struggled in his 20 minutes of work, going 4-for-15 for eight points, missing all six of his three point attempts.
#MIAvsBOS INJURY UPDATE: Jimmy Butler (knee), Kyle Lowry (hamstring), Max Strus (hamstring), Gabe Vincent (hamstring), P.J. Tucker (knee) & Tyler Herro (groin) are all listed as questionable to play in tomorrow's Game 4 vs the Celtics.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 22, 2022
Along with Butler and Herro, Kyle Lowry, PJ Tucker, Max Strus and Gabe Vincent were all listed on Miami’s injury report — that’s their starting five and first sub — though all but Butler are almost certain to play.
For Boston, Marcus Smart suffered a gruesome ankle injury that looked like he was out for at least the game. But he returned to action minutes later. He’s a game-time decision. Robert Williams III, has been on-off with his knee ailment these playoffs. After missing Game 3, he’ll also be a game-time decision Monday.
Heat vs Celtics Betting Analysis
It’s clear to me that Boston is the better team, but Miami has been wildly opportunistic and the C’s have had enough lapses that the Heat have the series lead.
In Game 3, the Heat had a franchise-record 19 steals, part of Boston’s 23 turnovers, leading to 33 Miami points. The Heat jumped all over the home side, racing to a 39-18 lead that had the Celtics playing catchup the rest of the night.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 22, 2022
So far in this series, Miami has won a total of two quarters of the 12 played, and that’s been enough to get halfway home to the NBA Finals. The other quarter was a 39-14 blitz in the third quarter of Game 1, turning an eight-point deficit into a 17-point lead to win the game.
With Butler absent, the rest of the Heat starters went for double digits. Bam Adebayo, who scored 16 points through the first two games, poured in a team-high 31 points, adding 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals. Max Strus had 16 points, including a massive three-pointer to answer after the Celtics had cut it to a point.
Max Strus says it was Kyle Lowry’s idea to draw up a play for him after the Celtics cut the Heat lead to 1. “That gave me all the confidence in the world.” pic.twitter.com/ONqae0DcoA
— Ruthie Polinsky (@ruthiepolinsky) May 22, 2022
Tucker had 17 points and seven boards, while Lowry had 11 points, six assists and four steals.
For the Celtics, we saw the best and worst of Jaylen Brown. He poured in a career-high 40 points on a 70% shooting from the field, but had seven turnovers, repeatedly stripped by Victor Oladipo in the second half.
— Victor Oladipo (@VicOladipo) May 22, 2022
Jayson Tatum had six turnovers, and couldn’t get anything done offensively either. He finished 3-for-14 from the field for 10 points, with six rebounds and four assists. He was hounded by Tucker most of the game, and attempted only four shots in the second half, missing all of them.
Heat vs Celtics Pick
Despite their second-half resilience, Miami is desperate for Jimmy Butler’s offense. Without him, and Herro both ailing and struggling, I find it hard for them to find enough buckets to keep up with Boston.
The Celtics are legit good, and are 4-0 in the postseason following a loss. If they can clean up their loose play, they should even this series up heading back to Miami.
The pick: Celtics -6.5 (-110)