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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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NBA Sunday Miami Heat at Boston Celtics Start Time, Odds, Free Pick

Pro Hoops on Sunday and we will see the Miami Heat travel north to take on the Boston Celtics. The game is scheduled for a 1:00 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on ABC. Currently the odds for the game have Miami favored by 3.5 points while the total sits at 187.5.  Check out Sportsbook Spy to see who the Public is taking on all of today's games.

Free Analysis: The Heat have won four in a row and five of six games, including Friday's 110-88 home victory over the Detroit Pistons. Dwyane Wade poured in 29 points on 12-of-20 shooting and James chipped in 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Chris Bosh totaled 14 points and seven boards for Miami, which made 55.8 percent for the game despite burying only 5-of-17 3-point attempts. Wade is averaging 30.3 ppg in his last three and scored a season-high 35 points versus Toronto on Wednesday. James' streak of reaching double figures in the first quarter ended at five games. The defending champion Heat target their third straight road win and own a 10-9 record away from south Florida. They are one of the league leaders in points with 102.8 ppg. Ray Allen played a pivotal role in Boston's run to a championship in 2008, but the sight of him in a Miami uniform has to be galling for Celtics fans - particularly after he turned down a more lucrative offer from Boston to sign with the Heat in the offseason. Content to be a role player with Miami, Allen is averaging 11.4 points and shooting 44.6 percent from behind the arc.

The Celtics have slipped drastically since mid-January and suffered their sixth loss in a row Friday in a 123-111 double-overtime defeat at Atlanta. Hawks guard Kyle Korver helped his team erase a 27-point deficit by the second quarter by knocking down 8-of-12 3-pointers en route to a game-high 27 points. Boston was blasted in the second overtime, 16-4, and was led by Rajon Rondo's second straight triple-double of 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. He had 23 points, 11 assists and 10 boards in Thursday's loss to New York. Kevin Garnett provided 24 points and 10 boards before fouling out early in the second OT for the Celtics, who last loss seven in a row from April 4-15, 2007 and committed 21 turnovers. Jeff Green and Courtney Lee scored 17 and 16 points, respectively, off the bench. Boston is opening a four-game homestand Sunday and will play six of the next seven games at TD Garden, where it is 13-9 this season and has dropped three in a row. Paul Pierce had 12 points, six rebounds and four assists against the Hawks and is one assist shy of matching Bill Russell (4,100) for fourth on the franchise's all-time list. Guard Avery Bradley may feel a little extra pressure due to Allen's return. He replaced Allen in Boston's starting lineup last season, leading to speculation that was among the reasons Allen's opted to take his shooting talents to South Beach. Known as one of the league's better on-ball defenders, Bradley had his second-highest output with 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting against Atlanta. It was only the third time in 12 games that Bradley scored in double figures. He missed the first two months while recuperating from two shoulder surgeries.

Boston has still won 17 of the last 21 meetings with the Heat and nine in a row in games played up north. Miami is just 4-13 in its last 17 trips to TD Garden. 

Free Pick:  I like the Under in this one. This will not be like the first meeting. Both teams are playing very good defense at the moment an that should keep the scoring down. Miami has allowed 97.7 ppg on the road this year, but just 91.2 ppg in their last 6 away from home, plus they have allowed 91.1 in their last 10 games overall (regulation only). Boston comes in struggling on offense, having averaged just 88 ppg (regulation) in their last 6 games overall. Defensively Boston has been stout of late, allowing just 89.8 ppg in their ast 13 games during regulation, plus they allow just 93.2 ppg at home on the year. Miami can score some points, but they also have taken too many days off offensively off late and that should allow Boston’s defense to keep their scoring down. Should be a tough defensive battle with around 180 points being scored. 

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