The Celtics secured a win for the first time this series, and now they look to continue their quest to be the first team ever to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the NBA playoffs. We’ll preview tonight’s game before going over my best prop play for the action.
As the series heads back to Boston, the Celtics will look to improve on the (-6.7) NET rating they put up in the two home games they have played in this series. They will be coming off their best shooting performance since game one, as they shot 51% from the field and 40% from three while holding the Heat to a 44% field goal percentage.
One of the biggest differences in the game was that Boston’s role players could produce on the offensive end to help Jayson Tatum out, while Miami’s role players could not score at that level. Miami has gotten 33.8% of their points from beyond the arc in this series, but they shot just 25% in game four while only making eight of their 32 attempts.
That lack of role-player production could become a real problem for Miami since Gabe Vincent was ruled out tonight with an ankle injury. Not only has Vincent played the second-most minutes on the team this series behind Jimmy Butler, but he has also scored in double figures in three out of the four games played, including his breakout 29-point performance in game three.
Losing Vincent will put more scoring responsibility on guys like Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson. This puts even more pressure on Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo to produce since Lowry has scored seven or fewer points in three of the four games and is 5-19 from the field over the last three games.
Now, there is a silver lining for Miami with the Vincent injury, and that is they will need to emphasize protecting the ball on the offensive end, which hurt them in game four. Miami had 15 turnovers in the game, giving the Celtics 18 fast-break points, so being forced to slow the game down could help the Heat close out the series.
Grant Williams was a big topic of conversation early in this series but not for a good reason, as his trash talk to Jimmy Butler was highlighted consistently. Williams has quietly turned in two straight double-figure scoring efforts and seen his usage rate increase. Tonight his points+rebounds+assists total is set at 11.5, and I ’ll be taking the over at (-120) for my play in this one.
Williams has gone over this number in each of his last three games, two of which he managed to go over the total with just his points total. The big man is averaging approximately 27.3 minutes per game across that span, and I don’t see that changing tonight, especially with their success in game four. Aside from his scoring numbers increasing, he is also seeing 7.7 rebounding chances per game and three potential assists.
From game two to four, Williams has increased his points and rebound total in each game as he went nine points and two rebounds in game two, up to 14 points and six boards in game four. This type of increased production is common when Williams sees more minutes, as he averages 7.8 points and 4.8 rebounds when he plays 20-29 minutes and 11.4 points and 5.3 rebounds when he plays 30-39 minutes.
Grant Williams Over 11.5 Points+Rebounds+Assists (-120)