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EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS GAME 5 PREVIEW: Heat & Celtics clash in a pivotal matchup

The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics are both aiming to take control of the series in Game 5 with the series tied 2-2.

2022 NBA Playoffs - Miami Heat v Boston Celtics Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat need to have a short memory and forget about the disaster that was Game 4. Now, they’ll need to win a pivotal Game 5 at home to avoid playing a win-or-go-home Game 6 in Boston.

The Celtics will still have Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III questionable. Williams left the game with a limp and Smart didn’t play in Game 4. Both change the equation drastically. The Heat may also be without Tyler Herro — who ESPN reported is dealing with a groin injury that would normally keep him out 2-4 weeks, but he’s pushing to play. Herro hasn’t looked great, but as we saw, a little bit of Herro is worth it over no Herro.

The importance of Game 5 can’t be overstated. This is an important game. Boston lost Game 5 to the Bucks but wound up winning Game 6 on the road and then Game 7 at home — so it’s doable, but the Heat need this game. Boston is a tough place for a closeout game, they don’t want to go there with their backs against the wall.

The game plan will be adjusted, but look for Miami to be much more aggressive and intentional about their defense. Hopefully, a little bit of home court will help their shooting woes.

INACTIVE/INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Tyler Herro: questionable (groin)
  • Max Strus: questionable (hamstring)
  • PJ Tucker: questionable (knee)
  • Kyle Lowry: questionable (hamstring)
  • Gabe Vincent: questionable (knee)

BOSTON:

  • Marcus Smart: questionable (ankle)
  • Robert Williams III: questionable (knee)
  • Sam Hauser: out (shoulder)

LINEUPS

Projected Starters

Celtics Position Heat
Celtics Position Heat
Marcus Smart PG Kyle Lowry
Jaylen Brown SG Max Strus
Jayson Tatum SF Jimmy Butler
Al Horford PF PJ Tucker
Robert Williams III C Bam Adebayo

ODDS (via DraftKings)

The odds can be found at DraftKings. The Heat are a +1.5 on the spread and the game as a 203.5 over/under the line. It’s easy to place bets on DraftKings, click the link at the bottom to get started. Especially if you think the Heat are going to win this game, you can make some money!

BROADCAST INFO

TV: ESPN
RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson, Ruth Riley Hunter)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!

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