Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla was asked what the mindset his team has going into Game 5 of the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat, and the first-year head coach replied, “It’s win or die.”
Mazzulla’s coaching philosophy is consistent. Following Tuesday night’s 116-99 win over Miami in Game 4, the Celtics coach said, “We can’t relax. We have to keep the same level of intensity, the same mindset, the same focus in the next game.”
Per a few NBA betting sites, the Denver Nuggets are the top favorite to win the 2023 NBA Finals. Check out which sports are showing second-shortest odds for the Heat.
Joe Mazzulla on the Celtics mentality entering Game 5 tonight:
“It’s win or die.” pic.twitter.com/2PgB5jOdQc
— Sporting News NBA (@sn_nba) May 25, 2023
Malcolm Brogdon, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year, was added to the injury report on Thursday for having a partially torn tendon in his right elbow that reaches down to his forearm. “He’s playing through it. Giving us whatever he has,” Mazzulla said.
Boston needs a 40-point game from Jayson Tatum. The Celtics are 4-5 at home this postseason. However, the C’s could become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a seven-game series and win. NBA teams are 0-149 when trailing by three games in a seven-game series.
Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla believes his team can improve to 5-5 at home this postseason against Heat in Game 5
Entering Game 5 of the 2023 ECF, the Heat are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games. Of course, the point total has gone over in 11 of Miami’s past 15 contests. And the Heat are 5-1 in their previous six matchups versus Boston.
Additionally, Miami is 10-3 in its past 13 meetings against Eastern Conference opponents. The total has gone over in 10 of the Heat’s last 11 road games. Plus, Miami is 6-2 in its previous eight encounters versus Atlantic Division teams. Also, Miami is 5-1 ATS in its past six meetings against the Celtics.
Meanwhile, the Celtics are 8-1 in their last nine games played on a Thursday. Boston is also 2-4 ATS in its past six games when playing as the favorite. Not to mention, the C’s are 6-2 in their previous eight home games played on a Thursday.
“The Celtics have to create doubt with [the Heat]”@paulpierce34 explains how the Jays need to step up in Game 5 to have a chance in this series pic.twitter.com/MeDgSFb6zM
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 25, 2023
Furthermore, Boston is just 10-11 at home in the last two postseasons. Their 11 losses at home are the most over a 2-postseason span by any team in NBA history.
According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Celtics have an 82.2% chance of defeating Miami in Game 5. Sportsbooks show Boston as an 8.5-point favorite at TD Garden.