All of the stars will be shining brightly on the hallowed court of Boston Garden for the first game of the NBA playoff betting series between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics on Saturday night. However, before the series kicks off, BetUS poses five burning questions about how the series is going to shake out.
NBA Basketball Playoff Odds
Miami Heat +165
Boston Celtics -210
1: Are the Celtics nothing more than a bunch of retreads now? You don't think of the Celtics as a team that is a bunch of has-beens, but you also don't normally think that the #4 seed in the Eastern Conference is going to play the L/54 games of the season at 27-27 either. Age is showing on C's F Paul Pierce, G Ray Allen, F Kevin Garnett, F Rasheed Wallace, and G Michael Finley; all of which will play huge minutes in this series.
2: Is this the series where G Rajon Rondo makes a name for himself? We've seen this time and time again in the NBA where a player comes out of nowhere and just takes over a team. Rondo really made a name for himself two seasons ago when the C's won the NBA Championship, but this really could become his team now. Rondo averaged 13.7 points and 9.8 assists per game this year, but his numbers will need to be much better than that. For Boston to march on, he’s going to have to dramatically increase his scoring production.
3: Can someone aside from Flash step up for the Heat? There's no denying that this is the team that was built for G Dwyane Wade. He averaged his 26.6 points per game this year, but save some sporadic help from F Michael Beasley (14.8 PPG) and F Jermaine O'Neal (13.6 PPG), there really wasn't anyone else that chipped in on a regular basis for the Heat. Wade may not want to have to carry this team on his shoulders, which is why, especially if they want to lock him up to a long term contract in the offseason, the Heat are going to need to get some assistance from someone else.
4: Is Miami's defense being overlooked in this series? If you asked any casual NBA fan which one of these two teams had the better defense, most would probably say Boston right of the top of their head. They'd be wrong. The Heat held foes to just 94.2 points per game this year, the second best mark in the NBA. They were also second in opposing field goal percentage at 43.9 percent. Things that make you go hmmmm….
5: Bottom Line: Who will win this playoff series? Miami is going to be a trendy upset selection in this series, but we're just not buying in at this point. The Heat just aren't in that upper echelon of Eastern Conference teams quite yet, and we feel as though the Celtics are just going to overpower them in this series at some point. Stealing a game in Boston is a possibility, but the C's are a strong road team as well, and that should prove to be what gets them through to the next round. Watch out for Boston in NBA playoff betting action, as it should survive in six games.
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