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Celtics vs. Heat
Game 2 Betting Preview
The fourth-seeded Boston Celtics played well for one quarter in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the second-seeded Miami Heat. The Celtics have no chance to win one game in this series if they continue to play like they did in the series opener on Monday, regardless of whether or not Chris Bosh returns at some point for the Heat. The more Miami continues to dominate without him, the more the team will likely wait to bring him back.
The Heat won and covered the eight-point spread in a 93-79 Game 1 victory, outscoring Boston in three of the four quarters, including two by double digits. The Celtics got a solid game from 36-year-old forward-turned-center Kevin Garnett, who finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds, but nobody else came through for them. Garnett was able to take advantage of Bosh's absence inside, and the other two members of the original "Big Three" -- Paul Pierce and Ray Allen -- combined for just 18 points on 6 of 25 shooting.
Meanwhile, Miami was fine with the "Big Two" of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade producing 54 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists between them. The Heat did not need much else and made Boston point guard Rajon Rondo try to beat them with his 20 shots from the field. Only James took more shots, and he scored twice as many points as Rondo, who scored 16 and added nine rebounds and seven assists, which were his second-lowest total of the playoffs.
The Celtics need a miracle to win this series, and going back in time to 2008 when they last won the NBA title is simply not an option. Rondo and Garnett are the only two players they have who are capable of giving Miami matchup problems while James and Wade are nightmares to cover every game. Pierce and Allen are clearly hurting and merely shells of the players they used to be, giving the Heat a huge edge.
Surprisingly, Miami (-8 again in Game 2 on Wednesday) has covered the spread in just one of the last five meetings after going 4-1 vs. the line in the previous five games between the teams. Three of those games that the Heat did not cover happened in the last month of the regular season and also resulted in straight-up wins, so it's hard to judge how important they really were in the big scheme of things. What we do know is these games matter the most and will ultimately determine who will make it to the NBA Finals and continue their quest for a championship.
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