Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (22) passes in the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (22) passes in the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. |AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
NBA

Mims breaks down Miami vs Boston in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals and makes Game 1, series and prop picks

The Heat and Celtics start their series Tuesday at 6:30 pm EDT.

Robert Mims

Robert Mims

The Celtics are favored in the finals against Miami. The series price is Boston -134 while the Heat are +110. The Celtics won the regular season 2-1. The Heat swept the Pacers and eliminate the Bucks in five games. The Celtics swept the Sixers and went 7 games defeating the defending champions Raptors.

The Heat are well rested and have not played in 7 days. Miami will go with 9 players. The C’s are returning with Gordon Hayward back in the bubble. He is expected to play at some point in this series That will add more depth to their rotation. The Celtics are so deep they do not play Enes Kanter, a starter on previous NBA teams.

Key Match Up

The match up that lights up the marquee is Jimmy Butler vs. Jayson Tatum. Both are offensive stars and solid defenders. Tatum has committed turnovers in some crucial situations. Butler seems to always come through in the clutch. They will cancel each other out.

Props and Totals

Most of the games that these teams have played have finished under the total. Kemba Walker has been under his projected scoring total consistently. For the Heat, Tyler Herro, Jae Crowder and Goran Dragic are scoring at or above their projected total every game. I would lean toward these trends continuing in this series. If Hayward plays, the shots of Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart will be reduced. Avoid both of their scoring projections.

Numbers

Celtics are shooting 80% from the foul line and 34% from 3-point range. The Heat are shooting 82% from the free throw line and 38% from beyond the arc. The C’s turn the ball over 16 times a game while the Heat average 13 per game.

Prediction

Teams are close in all statistical categories. The edge in outside shooting and fewer turnovers makes Miami the play. The Heat in 7 games.

Game One

Miami + 1.5 and Total 209.5. I am leaning over and taking the Heat in Game One. Heat over 104.5 in total points.

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