Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL

When: Thursday, January 10th, 7:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): TNT | 790 The Ticket / S: WAQI 710 AM, WROR (105.7 FM)

Boston Celtics (Away)

Head Coach: Brad Stevens {All-Time 245-204 | BOS}

After a difficult start to the season, the Boston Celtics have begun to find their rhythm as the halfway point of the season arrives. With a record of 24-15, the Celtics sit fifth in the East, just 1.5 games back from taking fourth place from the Sixers.

While they’ve had a bit of inconsistency over the last ten matches, going 6-4, they’ve put together a commendable three game win streak albeit over weaker squads. As they take on the Miami Heat, it will be the first of a short three-game Eastern Conference road trip.

They’ve won comfortably over their three-game win streak and will hope to keep the eye of success going. The end of their road trip will be capped by a home match against the Eastern Conference leading Toronto Raptors, so gaining some confidence in that time will be paramount.

Miami Heat (Home)

Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra {All-Time 503-339 | MIA}

The Miami Heat are currently ranked sixth in the Eastern Conference with a .500 record. While they’ve struggled over the season with inconsistency and injuries, they’ve found some recent success to show off some potential.

The Heat have put together an impressive 7-3 run in their last ten matches. With wins over the Pelicans, Rockets, and Bucks, the Heat have showed they are a team to be reckoned with.

Regardless of record, the Heat boast one of the NBA’s best coaches and a team of significant talent despite their short comings. Should the Heat be able to find some offensive consistency, don’t be surprised to see them take on from the Celtics.

What’s At Stake?

The Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat meet again in this Eastern Conference matchup. Since 1988, these two teams have met 116 times. The Boston Celtics lead the all-time series 70-46.

With just a half game over the Charlotte Hornets in seventh place, a win would secure 1.5 games to ensure sixth place for the Heat.

With a firm grasp on fifth, but just 1.5 games back from the Sixers in fourth, the Boston Celtics would be just a half game from taking fourth from the Sixers with a win.

Questions to answer

Can the Celtics survive the Heat’s inside attack?

Can the Heat’s defence maintain?

We are going to compare the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Celtics are shorthanded in the paint

The Celtics are a team that famously plays “small”. With the sheer amount of wing talent on their roster, it is difficult to find time for their more traditional big men.

Both Aron Baynes and Al Horford have missed a significant amount of time. Most recently it has been Baynes who has been out with a broken hand. In that time, the Celtics have seen themselves deploy almost all-wing lineups with the likes of Marcus Morris at centre.

The Miami Heat are a not a deadeye three-point shooting team, which allows the likes of Hassan Whiteside to feed off of offensive rebounds and rim runs. With few options on the inside for the Celtics, they will have to put up with a rim-attack from the Heat in order to come out with a win.

The Heat are 6th in Defensive Rating

While it is true that the Miami Heat sometimes struggle to find the basket, a Spoelstra-led team always defends the ball. This year’s Heat team is no exception. The Heat have defensive talent at every position that can lineup with any Celtic’s five.

Josh Richardson, Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow, all players that lead the Miami Heat when it comes to the defensive side of the ball. Add in Rodney McGruder, Bam Adebayo, and James Johnson, the list doesn’t stop growing when you list out the Heat’s defensive talent.

The Celtics are not a team that take much effort in attacking the rim outside of a clear-cut chance. They will likely double-down on that strategy with the likes of Hassan Whiteside at the rim. If the Heat can keep up with the rate at which the Celtics swing the ball, they can take one from the former Eastern Conference finalists.

Boston Celtics Roster Notes

C Aron Baynes – Out (Hand) – The Celtics announced that Baynes had surgery on his left hand. He will return in 4-6 weeks.

G Jabari Bird – Out (Personal) – Bird is still on a leave of absence from the team until he handles his legal issues.

Miami Heat Roster Notes

G Goran Dragic – Out (Knee) – The Heat announced that Dragic had surgery on his right knee. He’s expected to be out until the NBA All-Star Break.

Head-to-Head: Jayson Tatum vs Dwyane Wade

Jayson Tatum

16.1 PPG | 1.8 APG | 6.4 RPG | 1.1 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 1.5 TOV | .444 FG% | .366 3P%

Dwyane Wade

14.0 PPG | 3.9 APG | 3.6 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 0.6 BPG | 2.2 TOV | .413 FG% | .322 3P%

The NBA is putting on a matchup between one of the leagues budding stars in Jayson Tatum and a retiring legend in Dwyane Wade. These two teams have a history of success of the past ten years and it will surely be an exciting matchup between these Eastern Conference rivals.

Jayson Tatum is surely one of the leagues future stars. Despite criticism in his second year, he’s actually improved in most of his major statistical categories. Despite his individual skill, he’s bought into coach Brad Stevens offence causing 46% of his two-point field goals being assisted while 82% of his three’s are assisted.

Dwyane Wade may not be producing the same output as he has in his prime, but he’s still been putting together a commendable season to ensure his final season isn’t one where he merely fades away. In key moments the Heat have still turned to Wade. The Celtics would do well to ensure they focus in on the veteran, as he’ll surely want to put on a performance against one of the NBA’s most storied clubs.

Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Boston Celtics favoured over the Miami Heat by 2, with an over/under of 110.