Saturday night at 8:30 PM Eastern the Celtics host the Heat after an insane Game 2 showing. As it stands this morning Kyle Lowry is likely to play, making this the first game where both teams are trending toward being fully healthy. The Celtics showcased high percentage shot making in Game 2 after a defensive collapse in the third quarter ruined their Game 1, bringing the series level at 1-1.
Update: Robert Williams is now questionable to play tonight. If he rests, this will null the first play. However, I think this really boosts any Al Horford props as he will have a lot of the burden to carry tonight.
Despite the disgusting Game 1 collapse, the Celtics have fared well against the Heat. The first half of Game 1 was a steady back and forth with the Celtics edging them out, and Game 2 was far and away some of the elite shot making that helped the Celtics dominate the second half of the regular season that pushed them from playoff bubble to the 2 Seed. I fully expect Erik Spoelstra to make adjustments coming into Boston, but what are you supposed to do when the Celtics shoot 50% from three off 40 attempts?
Simple logic says that this will not happen again, and the numbers will regress closer to the average. If the shots don't fall, the Celtics can go back to the paint and let Al Horford and Robert Williams continue their dominant form. I don't want to pick a side here in case the Celtics do go streaky in either direction today, but I do have a couple of props I will be playing that I think are more affordable than they should be.
Robert Williams over 15.5 Pts+Rebs+Asts -114 (1.5 Units)
Time Lord had one of his most boring stat lines last game and I think this will turn people off from betting on him. However, we need to keep in mind that Williams is averaging 10 points, 9.6 rebounds, and a sneaky 2 assists a game this season, as well as 18 points and 9 rebounds in Game 1.
This is a good line when you look at Rob Will's performances against the Heat, but a two game sample size is so small it is hard to draw decent conclusions from that. I trust that Robert Williams will be more dominant at home, where his averages are a point or two higher than normal, and that the Celtics will be feeding him inside when Bam is off of the floor.
Finally, when a double-double machine like Robert Williams has totals this low in the prop menu you have to take it and trust in his consistency. Yes, the Heat are no joke on defense and Bam Adebayo has consistently been a top defender the last few seasons. However, Bam is not going to be able to fend off both big men for the entire game, especially when both have been playing well. This is where my next prop comes in...
Al Horford to have more Rebounds than Jimmy Butler -140 (1.5 Units)
Big Al only snagged 3 rebounds in Game 2, after sitting out Game 1 with COVID. The Celtics did not really play much inside this game though, because they could not miss from the field. Jimmy has been dominating on the boards as well, but we need to respect what Al has done these playoffs. He has hit double digits in rebounds in 6 of the 12 games he has played in, and tonight he will get back on track with the game in Boston.
I think this line may move more as more news comes out about Robert Williams, as this will force the Celtics to rely on Al Horford more tonight which is not a bad thing for our bet. Jimmy has done a great job of filling out the stat sheet in the playoffs this year, but it pales in comparison to what Horford has been doing with his rebounds. Again, Bam is the one worry here with his defensive prowess. The Celtics are going to need Al crashing the glass especially if the game plan changes from Game 2 and the shot percentages regress from how high octane they were on Thursday.
And let's not forget Al's 15 rebound game he had the last time the Heat came to Boston at the end of March...
Celtics 1Q -2 (1 Unit)
The Celtics have won every first quarter against the Heat this season, except for one, by three or more points. The Heat are averaging just 24.4 points in the first quarter on the road in the playoffs this year. Boston will be bumpin' at the beginning of this game, and the Celtics have continued to come out hot against the Heat so far this series. Look for the C's to continue this trend tonight, and hopefully its driven by Time Lord and Big Al.