Celtics vs Heat Preview & Free Pick [Game 7]

Boston (3-3) at Miami (3-3)
When: Sunday, May 29th 2022
Where: FTX Arena,
Miami, FL
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Boston -2.5/200

The Boston Celtics blew a golden opportunity on Friday night to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 years. They had a 3-2 series lead against a Miami Heat team that couldn’t get anything going offensively. Boston was an 8.5-point favorite at home, but the Jimmy Butler-led Heat shocked TD Garden and the Celtics 111-103 to force a deciding Game 7 back in Miami on Sunday night. Butler was held to 27 points over the previous three games, but exploded for 47 points in Game 6 to help his team avoid elimination. He missed the second half of Game 3 with right knee inflammation, but appears to be back at full strength with his fourth 40-point effort of the postseason. The Celtics are 2.5-point favorites for Game 7 on Sunday with a total a super-low 196.


Boston’s defense had limited Butler to 7-of-32 shooting in Games 4 and 5, but had no answer for him on Friday. The loss was Boston’s fifth in a row when it could clinch a spot in the NBA Finals. A setback on Sunday would also mean a fifth straight time the team has lost in the Eastern Conference finals. Many of these players were around when the Celtics let a 3-2 series lead get away against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 Eastern Conference finals; Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Al Horford. Oddly enough, the road team has won four of the first six games in this series and Miami was completely overmatched at home in Games 2 and 5.

The pressure is on Boston now as they failed to close out the series on Friday. Tatum led the way with 30 points on 9-of-12 shooting, but also turned the ball over seven times. Brown had 20 points and four turnovers. The starting five committed all 17 Boston turnovers and were all in the minus points for the game. Reserve Derrick White had a big game with 22 points and five assists and led the team with a +5 rating. On a positive side, the Celtics did dominate the last two games played in Miami.

Butler didn’t just have 47 points, but he put together an all-around gem. He was 16-of-29 from the floor to go along with nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals in 46 minutes. Kyle Lowry rebounded from a couple of poor performances to score 18 points with 10 assists in 37 minutes. It was a much-needed effort from Lowry, as the Heat are still missing Tyler Herro, who is questionable for Game 7 due to a left groin strain. Max Strus and Victor Oladipo scored 13 and nine points respectively in Game 6, as they see their minutes increase with the absence of Herro.


The pressure is on Boston, but I’ve thought they were the better team coming into this series. The fact that they have played well in Miami this series gives me confidence to take them here in Game 7.

Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.

Pick: Celtics -2.5