Las Vegas - You like top notch offense? You like lock-down defense? Well, we have both for you in the NBA Eastern Conference Final between the Celtics and the Heat. But first, lets look at the head-to-head this season. In the first meeting up in Beantown, Boston (-5.5) rocked Miami 112-93 and the total went Under the posted number of 209. The Cs (+1.5) rolled down to the beach and beat the Heat 109-101, and the total went way under 218.5. In the final meeting, inside the Orlando bubble, the Heat (+5) picked up a 112-106 W and the total landed right on the number, 218, for a push.
Boston has won 13 of 19 in the bubble, covered 11 times, went Over 6 times, Under 11 times with 2 pushes.
Miami has won 11 of 17 in the bubble, covered 11 times, went Over 7 times, Under 9 times with 1 push.
Also got a tasty little delicious lingering hatred between Pat Riley and Danny Ainge.
Here's Riley on Ainge. "Danny Ainge needs to shut the f--- up and manage his own team. He was the biggest whiner going when he was playing and I know that because I coached against him."
Here's Ainge's comeback: "I don't care about Pat Riley. He can say whatever he wants. I don't want to mess up his Armani suits and all that hair goop. It would be way too expensive for me."
Would love to see a three round bout inside the octagon and would make Riley a -$160 favorite, even though he's 75 years old, with Ainge the underdog at +$140. Of course if Riles was allowed to use his 'GOOP,' and get all slippery and slidey, the price would go way up, maybe as high as -$240.
Back to the opening question. Offense or defense? The Celtics come in as the #1 rated defensive team in the playoffs, holding the Raptors and Sixers to a combined 29.2% from downtown. The Heat come in as the #1 most accurate 3-point shooting team in the playoffs. And just to put a little more context on the bone, the 76ers were PATHETIC shooting triples, actually the worst percentage (26.4%) of all the playoff teams.
And finally, there's Bam. If you didn't watch the 'Flintstones' TV show back in the day, then you'll be surprised to learn that Bam Adebayo was named after Barney & Betty Rubble's baby, Bamm-Bamm. And all babies grow up. Bam GREW up this season to become a LEGIT force on both ends of the floor. Adebayo made the All-Star team and was voted to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. He scored 8 points in the first game against Boston, 16 in the next one, and 21 in the final meeting in the bubble. Baby Bam keeps growing. Erik Spoelstra is one of the fews coaches that can match Xs & Os with Brad Stevens, so we're gonna push South Beach into the Finals, with a Leaning Tower of Pisa to Miami in game one.