For the first time since their 2012 NBA Finals victory, the Miami Heat will take the court for a meaningful game.
It’s a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals, as the Heat host the Boston Celtics. Boston pushed Miami to seven games in their quest to make the NBA Finals, but was unable to close things out on the road.
Each team looks a little different, as they both made a few additions in the offseason.
After winning the title, the Heat may be even better than they were a year ago. They added sharpshooter Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. Allen brings championship experience and one of the best three-point shooters in basketball. Lewis has been injured for the past few years, but could be revitalized with a new team.
Allen left Boston as a free agent, but was replaced by Jason Terry. Terry has been one of the best sixth men for the last several seasons, averaging at least 15 points per game off the bench in each of the last five years.
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Jeff Green and Courtney Lee should also be major contributors. Green missed all of last season with a heart condition, but is averaging 13.9 points per game for his career. Lee will be inserted into the starting lineup, and will draw the assignment of guarding Dwyane Wade.
The game is set to air on TNT at 8 p.m. ET. You can watch a free live stream online on NBA TNT Overtime.
Betting Line: Miami-6.5, 185.5
Prediction: These two teams usually play each other close, so Boston has a good chance of covering the point spread. With Kevin Garnett as the anchor of the Celtics defense, they have a good chance of slowing down Miami’s offense. However, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Wade will likely be too much for Boston too handle.
Predicted Score: Miami 91, Boston 89