Taking care of their own court is a top priority for the Boston Celtics as they tangle with the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night inside TD Garden. Meeting for the third time in four years to determine the conference champion, the teams have created quite a rivalry. And as the only game on the NBA schedule there are plenty of betting options with same game parlays a popular way to go. As we get deeper into the NBA Playoffs sportsbooks up their game with a bigger prop bet menu to go along with the traditional betting options. Bets on players are way of staying in the game and with the games expected to be close we’ll see guys like Miami’s Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo and Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown on the floor for more minutes only increasing the likelihood of them putting up big numbers.
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NBA Playoffs Schedule for Friday, May 19
Eastern Conference Finals – Game 2
Miami at Boston, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
NBA Playoffs Picks for Friday, May 19, 2023
This is an unlikely matchup considering the Heat finished the regular season with 13 fewer wins than Boston and had to survive the play-in tournament. A loss to Atlanta in the first play-in game set up a must win against Chicago and Jimmy Butler made sure his club would continue playing. It’s been a marvelous postseason so far for Butler, who dropped 31 on his former team to secure the No. 8 seed. Including the play-in games Butler scored more than 20 points in 11 of the 12 games he’s played. He missed a game in the New York series with a minor injury.
Butler went off in the first round against the top-seeded Bucks averaging 37.6 points. He tallied 56 in the Game 4 win and helped clinch the series with 42 points in Game 5. Meanwhile the Heat averaged 124 points against the team with the NBA’s fourth-best defensive rating during the regular year. That was quite an accomplishment considering Miami finished last in scoring with 109.5 points per game during season.
Butler and the offense cooled off a bit in the second round failing to score more than 109 points in a game against the Knickerbockers, still the Heat won the series in five games playing stingy defense and getting timely scoring. Bam Adebayo has been a force teaming with Butler to average nearly 50 points through the first two rounds. They had to pick up the slack for injured teammates Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo, who both were sidelined early in the postseason due to injuries.
The point total for Adebayo will likely settle between 17-20 points. He’s a good bet to hit the OVER considering the Celtics will focus their attention on stopping Butler. In four regular season meetings with Boston, Adebayo scored at least 19 points in each while averaging 25.0 PPG. And with Boston likely going to a smaller lineup with Robert Williams coming off the bench, the potential for a bunch of rebounds is there.
Jayson Tatum has done a lot of damage this postseason seeming intent on getting back to the Finals after his disappearing act last season. Facing elimination in Game 6 against the Sixers, Tatum came to life in the fourth quarter dropping four treys in the final four-plus minutes to help the Cs stave off elimination. He was just getting warmed, though.
Game 7 was one for the ages for Tatum dropping 51 points on 17 of 28 shooting, including 6 of 10 from behind the arc. He also had success against Miami during four regular season meetings averaging 31 points. If the point total for Tatum is around 30 I’d jump on the OVER since he’s feeling it.
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