The NBA Playoffs continue Sunday night in Game 4 between the visiting Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. The NBA Playoff odds for the game have the visiting Heat 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 on the road for the Heat.
Picks: The Boston Celtics had an answer for pretty much everything the Heat threw at them in Game 3. It must have been refreshing for the Celtics, who were in an 0-2 hole and looking at the possibility of their season being over a lot quicker than they thought. Boston did a great job of defending and double-teaming Dwyane Wade, who really only has LeBron James as the only significant scoring threat on the floor. When the C's defend well, they play well overall and win a lot of games. Wade had only 18 points in Game 3, which broke his streak of a dozen straight 20-point playoff games against Boston. Jerry West has the longest at 18 in a row from 1966-69. Another thing bothering the Heat leader in that third game was getting to the free-throw line, something he does a lot of in his career. Wade didn't attempt a free throw for the first time in a playoff game since 2004 in Game 3. The Celtics, on the other hand, know it's desperation time and they played like that on Friday night. Even Kevin Garnett said his team MUST win both games in Boston and then deal with having to play on the road in Miami. Garnett has been able to get some easy looks at the hoop since Chris Bosh isn't around to help defend for the Heat. Rajon Rondo has also had a good series to date, as he added 21 points and 10 assists in Game 3. Those two positions seem to favor Boston the most with Miami not having a good perimeter defensive point guard and no athletic big man in the paint. The Celtics are an underdog in this game based on the point spread but they don't feel that way. The C's have been a great team at home all season and a win tonight could change the series for them. But then again, a loss could as well.
Prediction: I like Boston in this game, especially getting points at home. Don't think that players and coaches don't hear about point spreads. At tip-off of the contest, Boston will know it's still an underdog and they will use that as motivation for being disrespected. But then again, that shouldn't be the deciding factor for them. Boston needs to win this game, in a desperation mode like they were for Game 3. This team cannot go down 3-1 to the Heat and travel back south having to win three straight games to reach the NBA Finals. Boston 92, Heat 90
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