The playoffs are heating up and the daily preview takes it to the rim with NBA tips for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals between Miami Heat and Boston Celtics.

NBA Tips – Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat

10:30 (AEST), Fri 20th May @ FTX Arena, Miami

History: Played 153: Celtics 88 V Heat 65

Last meeting: May 18, 2022: Heat 118 d Celtics 107 at FTX Arena

Final Thoughts: A Jimmy Butler-inspired Miami Heat powered away to an impressive 11-point home win in their series opener against Boston Celtics. They’ll be looking to ram home the advantage in Game 2 before the Eastern Conference Finals move to Massachusetts.

The Celtics led by eight at halftime in Game 1 – before ‘Jimmy Buckets’ balled out to lead the Heat to a 118-107 victory.

Butler scored 27 points in second half to finish with a history-making statline of 41 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks. A disastrous 39-14 third quarter – with the Celtics shooting 2 for 15 – sealed the visitors’ fate.

Tyler Herro (18 pts, 8 reb, 3 ast) also made a solid contribution for Miami. Jayston Tatum (29 pts, 8 reb, 6 ast, 4 stl) and Jaylen Brown (24 pts, 10 reb) put up good numbers but couldn’t go with Butler in the second half.

Injuries bite for Celtics

Robert Williams III had 18 points and 9 rebounds but the Celtics missed first-choice big man Al Horford. Marcus Smart also missed Game 1 and is likely to be less than 100 percent fit if he returns for Game 2.

Miami are 36-12 at home this season (27-21 ATS) – and have won all seven games at FTX Arena in the playoffs, six by double-digit margins. Boston are 27-20 on the road this season (and an NBA-best 30-16-1 ATS), including a 4-2 record in the playoffs.

The Heat have their tails up, are blessed with depth and comparatively injury-free (despite Kyle Lowry’s ongoing absence), and are playing hard, confident basketball. They have been in dominant form at home throughout the post-season and look a solid option to win and cover again.

Best Bet: Handicap – Heat -3.5 @ $1.87