The NBA Playoffs continue Thursday night in Game 3 between the visiting Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. The NBA Playoff odds for the game have the Celtics favored by 2 points. The game is scheduled for an 8:30 pm start time and it will be televised live on ESPN. The spread shows that bookmakers have a prediction of a close win at home for the Celtics.
Picks: It's kind of odd to see the Celtics, in a must-win situation, just a 2-point favorite in this game tonight. Much like the Oklahoma City Thunder in last night's game, the Boston Celtics are in a situation where they have to win tonight or they are probably done. Dwyane Wade and his team know the Celtics are going to bring everything they have in tonight's game. Boston's core of Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen combined to score 96 points in Game 2 but without a win tonight, their run for the Celtics might be coming to an end rather quickly. A total of 14 teams in the history of the NBA Playoffs have come back to win a series after falling into an 0-2 hole and Boston was one of those teams. However, they haven't been able to accomplish the feat in 43 years. Doc Rivers said his team knows they have to play better, but at the same time, they also know they can compete with the Heat. The Big 4 for Boston scored the most points ever in their time together and still weren't able to beat Miami in the second game. The Celtics have been able to overcome a lot of adversity this season. They started out in a big hole, struggled in the middle of the season toward the All-Star Break and had troubles against both Atlanta and Philly in their previous two playoff series. Yet, the Celtics are still here and now have a chance to inch closer in the series with a win tonight. Miami took 47 foul shots in Game 2, while Boston took 29. Big discrepancy and it's as if the Celtics are getting beat up inside. Wade and LeBron James have done what they've needed to in the opening two contests and if they continue to get to the line in Game 3, it could be a tough uphill battle for Boston. Say what you want about LeBron and choking, but in conference finals games he's averaged 30.5 points per contest, second best all time. When it comes down to it, Boston has to play better defensively. They've given up an average of 114.4 to the Heat in two games after just 92.2 games during the rest of the playoffs.
Prediction: I'll take the Celtics in this game because they HAVE TO win. Boston is in a position to take the third game in this series and creep back into the discussion in regards to whether or not they are finished. I don't think they are just yet, but it's going to have to continue to get a great effort from their four big guys. They scored 96 points in the second game, the most ever by all four in one contest, but they still got beat. How do they chance that for tonight? Celtics 88, Heat 83
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