The Miami Heat are fooling every “expert” who dismissed them as any sort of NBA title contender and called them a pedestrian regular-season team that didn’t make it out of the play-ins.
Consider: The Heat are 13-0 after going 2-0 in a playoff series under Erik Spoelstra. Teams that go 2-0 in the conference finals, with both wins coming on the road, are 15-0 all-time. Whether the wins come at home or on the road, teams that go up 2-0 in the conference finals are 56-6 all-time. This is better than a 90% success rate in closing the deal. Let’s just say Boston is in trouble. Game 3 is a must win.
With that in mind, here are the viewing information and odds for Game 3, followed by key storylines to watch.
- Date: Sunday, May 21 | Time: 8:30 pm ET
- Location: Kaseya Center — Miami
- TV Frequency: TNT | Live broadcast: TNT application
- Contradictions: Celtics -3.5; O/U 214.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Special game | Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics
Heat: Miami is still considered the underdog to win the series at 2-0, according to ESPN Analytics, which gives Miami a 35% chance to advance to the Finals. Thirty-five percent? If you’ve ever wanted to question the merits of these nerdy numbers, now would be a good time. So that’s the storyline for Heat. They are still playing the “no one believes us” card. Jimmy Butler and company are great.
Celtics: Boston needs to find its late game quickly. At worst it can become a mess. No movement. There was no consistent answer for Heat double-teamer Jayson Tatum, who had gone scoreless from the field in both fourth quarters of this series. Also, will Joe Mazzulla continue to single-cover Butler in big moments? If he does, the Celtics better shut everyone down completely and control the defensive glass, because Butler is going to burn any defender.
I am doing. I choose against heat. I guess I’m probably an idiot, but Boston was better on the road than at home, and it was do-or-die time. Pick: Celtics -3