The 2023 NBA Finals shall be set Monday night, that after the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics decide the East in a seventh game in Massachusetts. It was an epic conclusion to the sixth game Saturday evening, with a C’s buzzer-beating tip-in leveling the series at three wins each.
Here is a look at some recent playoff stories over the past few days.
Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics Playoff Betting Information
|Date:||Monday, May 29, 2023, 8:30 p.m. ET|
|Location:||TD Garden, Boston, MA.|
Game 7 Odds by BetUs
|Heat||+7½ ( -110 )||204 ( -110 )||+250|
|Celtics||-7½ ( -110 )||204 ( -110 )||-310|
Nuggets Lying in Wait
Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets wasted little time getting through the Western Conference Finals, completing a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers. That is going to give them about a week-and-a-half of rest before Thursday night’s start of the NBA Finals, but it raises some concerns, too.
Coach Michael Malone is worried about the rhythm of the team, so after some downtime, Denver is back in the gym, practicing at full speed ahead of either Boston or Miami.
The Nuggets host Game 1 if their foe is the Heat, but will hit the road if the Celts win the East.
As of this Memorial Day (Monday afternoon) story, Denver is the odds-on (-125) choice, to win the title, according to NBA Finals odds.
Celtics and History
Well, no team in NBA history has ever won a playoff series after being down, 3-0, and the Boston Celtics are trying to do that Monday night. They did force a Game 7, played at home.
Celtics were able to even the series on a tip-in at the buzzer by Derrick White, stunning the Miami Heat and their faithful. Boston missed a desperation (Marcus Smart) three-point attempt, but White, the inbounder, went to the basket to tip-in the shot with 0.2 seconds remaining.
Boston had built up a nine-point lead with just over three minutes to go, then the Heat stormed all the way back to take a late lead. Miami was ready to punch its ticket to the Finals, but the epic heroics of White silenced a raucous crowd.
Jimmy Butler scored Miami’s final 10 points, but the Heat could not secure the victory. The Celtics are 7½-point favorites (moneyline -300) to win Game 7, as per NBA odds by BetUS sportsbook, thus completing something that’s never happened.
Timing was Correct
Before the heroics of Derrick White, there was plenty of controversy and delay surrounding a few difficult decisions. The finish of Game 6 was scrutinized by the league. It was pleased with the work of the officials.
One of the controversial calls was an Al Horford foul on Jimmy Butler with just three seconds remaining. The extensive two-minute report had no issues with that whistle or other reviews that took place near the end of the game.
Horford was charged with a foul on a three-point attempt by Jimmy Butler, who then hit all the freebies before White’s improbable game-winner.
League Investigating Lewis
Now, the NBA is investigating referee Eric Lewis after a series of tweets appearing in a “burner” account that may be associated with him. Lewis is one of the longest-tenured officials in the league. He has worked more than 80 playoff games throughout his career.
The league has a strict policy regarding officials not commenting on officiating, and this account has been known to question/defend calls in games. It’s not clear if the league can find any firm evidence against Lewis, though he could face discipline if there is evidence.
Lewis’s last game was Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals (LA Lakers and Denver).