The tide in the Miami Heat-Boston Celtics series continues to turn as Boston staved off elimination for the second straight game in game five. As the series shifts back to Miami for the final time for the Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs, the Celtics are three-point favorites and the total for game six is 210.5 across sportsbooks. Heat guard Gabe Vincent missed last game with an ankle injury after torching Boston with hot shooting during games three and four, but, he did go through some of the team's shootaround this morning and he remains questionable for tonight’s game. Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon is also questionable with multiple injuries. If the Heat lose tonight, all of their momentum will be gone going into Boston for game seven. No NBA team in history has ever won a seven-game series after being down zero games to three. The Celtics have shot over 50 percent in both of their last 2 games. Here are tonight’s DFS NBA plays for the NBA Playoffs.
Celtics vs Heat Game 6 Injury Report
Boston Celtics Injuries:
Miami Heat Injuries:
NBA DFS Picks Celtics vs Heat Game 6
The mentality stays the same that if the Celtics are going to hang on in this series, Tatum will have to be a top-notch performer and despite not giving us as good of a DFS return as he did in past games, Tatum still logged a double-double for the fourth straight time. Tatum should take 18-24 shots tonight and he’s hit at least 50 percent of his field goals in all but 1 game this series. He’s been a strong facilitator dropping seven-plus dimes in three of his last four outings. On the defensive end, he had his second multi-steal game in his last three. His shooting from downtown has been up and down but the shot volume will still be there once again and unless the Celtics are up 30 by the end of the 3rd quarter, there’s no reason Tatum should play fewer than 40 minutes. The Heat haven’t had an answer for Tatum as Tatum continues to attack the basket from all angles and unless the Heat make a play from behind. If the defender is in Tatum’s vision, he’s done a great job of getting by him inside the arc. The Celtics season hangs on his gameplay and he continues to be a strong go-to CPT/MVP option.
Butler will have to take more shots and make more plays to put the Heat over the top. Just like Miami hasn’t been able to stop Tatum, Boston has had a tough time containing Butler. There’s no reason he should take fewer than 20 shots even without a long-range shooting game. He doesn’t take many shots from downtown, but he’s hit over 45 percent of his shots this series and he scored 27 points or more in 3 of the 5 games against Boston. Butler has stolen the ball multiple times in all but one game in the conference finals and he’s swiped a total of 14 balls against Boston. Even though Butler’s scoring has been down, he’s still been helpful in other areas. Besides stealing the ball a lot, he’s dropped at least five dimes in every game and grabbed no fewer than five boards. He pulled down eight or more boards in three of the five games this series. A lot more of the ownership should favor Tatum, but if Miami is going to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals, Butler is going to have to have a huge game like he did in the first two games. He’ll play for around 40 minutes tonight. Even if the Heat are hitting their threes, Butler is still going to have to use his aggressiveness in the lane to keep pouring on the scoring.
It was encouraging seeing Adebayo take more shots and be more active on the glass last game. He had one of his better games of the series and took the second most shots he’s taken all series by shooting the ball 15 times. Adebayo has hit over 53 percent of his field goals in all but one game against Boston. Adebayo has helped in other stat categories besides points and boards for most of the series such as stealing the ball in four of five games and he blocked shots in two of his last three battles. Adebayo continues to get open in the post and with Vincent possibly returning to action, the Heat should just not let Adebayo bring up the ball at all. They should line him up In the post every play. I’m not kidding! The Heat offense forgets that they have a big man with moves in the paint, but because Adebayo brings up the ball a decent amount, once he passes off and sets a screen, he fades out to the arc and it doesn’t make sense. Robert Williams isn’t even getting as many minutes because his defense has been ineffective on Adebayo. Al Horford hasn’t done a good job defending Adebayo and he continues to get a ton of great looks at the basket and solid positioning in the paint.
Smart had his most productive DFS performance of the series In game five. He took double-digit shots for the second straight game and he shot a series-high of 58 percent from the field. Smart scored 23 points and seeing him take more shots is encouraging especially with Brogdon hurt. He’s hit seven three-pointers over his last two games combined. Smart also stole the ball five times and it was his third multi-steal game of the series. He didn’t dish many assists because he kept getting open looks for shots. The Celtics guards were destroying the Heat early last game. Despite not providing as many assists last game, he contributed six or more assists in three of five games against Miami. Smart should play around 35 minutes tonight with the expectation that this game will be closer than the last. Smart gets a lot of time with the ball in his hands, and he continues to drive to the basket successfully and he draws contact under the rim. Smart will also provide help on the glass as well. He’s not as good of a perimeter defender as he was in the past, but he’s been very helpful in turning the tide of this series.
White has been taking more shots over the last few games and he’s hit at least 50 percent of his field goals in every game of this series except for one. He scored 24 points last game and he’s hit at least 3 three-pointers in every game this series. He hit six shots from downtown in game five. White has also been helpful in blocking shots and grabbing steals. His defense has certainly made an impact in taking Miami out of rhythm. White has blocked multiple shots in three of his last four games and he’s stolen the ball five times total over his last three matchups. White played 37 minutes last game and it would be surprising to see him play fewer than 30 minutes even if Brogdon plays. White has benefitted from Brogdon being hurt. Brogdon hasn’t been able to shoot well since injuring his elbow. He’s not attacking the rim as much and passing off a lot more. White has made up for Brogdon’s lack of scoring and the Celtics are winning. They shouldn’t turn away from White now since he’s been very impactful on both sides of the ball. White has even pulled down three or more boards in two of his last three contests.
Vincent has been a very important player for the Heat throughout this series. Between bringing up the ball and his strong shooting, the Heat were clearly hurt with him off the floor. If Vincent is in, we can put trust in him and expect him to take 10 shots or more. Vincent has hit 50 percent of his shots or more in 3 of his last 4 outings. If the Heat coaches say that his playing time could be restricted, don’t believe what you read unless we hear he’s expected to play 15 minutes. The Heat need this game. This is their game seven. If Vincent is in even with a potential playing time limitation hanging over his head and he’s shooting well and the Heat are hanging with the Celtics, unless he’s in excruciating pain, the Heat won’t limit him. A note of limitation will scare off a lot of Vincent investors heading into tonight. If he was dealing with an arm or elbow injury like Brogdon, he would be much more of a risk to start. If Vincent is out, Duncan Robinson becomes less of a risky play and will take more shots. Keep track of the injuries right up until game time because Vincent’s status is still up in the air.
Horford has been more productive over the last two games, but the reason he falls under the dart throw category is that his scoring has been inconsistent. His rebounding and assist production has improved and he should once again play 25-30 minutes, but it’s hard to tell how he’ll fare offensively because he doesn’t take many shots nor get to the free-throw line much. Horford has grabbed seven or more boards over his last two and he’s coming off a battle in which he grabbed 11 rebounds. The Celtics prefer having him on the floor over Robert Williams and Horford has blocked shots in both of his last two games. If Horford was getting more shots, it would be easier to trust him, especially taking salary into account. He was hitting three’s in games three and four, but then couldn’t hit one in game five. He could easily let down if his shots aren’t falling. He’s taken seven in both of his last two games. He was helpful on the offensive glass last game and that will keep his minutes over 25. If his boards are down though and he continues getting similar shot volume, he could be a dud tonight.
It’s a high price tonight for Martin who has taken 11 shots or more in all but 1 game in this series. He hasn’t been as helpful in producing assists or steals over his last few contests. Even with his ongoing strong shooting, Martin hasn’t been giving a strong DFS return over his last few outings. He has scored no fewer than 14 points in any game this series and he’s shot no lower than 42 percent from downtown. He is coming off a game in which he grabbed more rebounds than any other contest in the series with five. He’s aggressive on both sides of the ball and he should continue to play 30-35 minutes. He’s swatted away shots and grabbed steals in three of five games in this series. Martin has been a good on-the-ball defender throughout the series as the Heat’s forward position continues to be shaky and they don’t have a lot of depth up front. It would be surprising seeing Haywood Highsmith take away much playing time from Martin in a close game, but we can’t ignore the 36 minutes he played last time out and he scored 15 points and hit 6 of his 9 shots including 3 three-pointers. Highsmith's playing time impacts Kevin Love more than Martin. Martin toggles between both forward positions. Even if Vincent plays, Martin should still take 10-15 shots tonight. If Highsmith starts tonight, he's also worth the dart throw thinking he'll play 25-plus minutes.
Lowry got a chance to start last game and he failed miserably. He was turning the ball over a lot early on and he just doesn’t take a lot of shots. We were expecting more boards and dimes and the last game was the first game in which he didn’t register a steal. The Heat could decide to bring him in off the bench, a role he’s done well with for most of the postseason, even if Vincent sits again. Lowry has pulled down five or more boards in two of his last three games and dropped four dimes or more in three of his last four. He’s stolen the ball five times in this series and we’ve seen him play 28 minutes or more in all but one game. Could he put together enough rebounds, assists and steal to still give us solid production for DFS? Sure, but he will have to hit more than two shots. He’s taken double-digit shots once against Boston. Lowry could also draw another start if Vincent sits and he could play better and provide solid all-around production. The bar from the last game is pretty low. He looked all out of sorts and turned the ball over four times for the second straight game.