Tonight, the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics will play Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston was able to keep their season alive with a 116-99 win in Game 4 on the road. The Celtics are still down 3-1 in the series, but a win tonight would give them even more confidence. Playing in Boston’s favor, Miami has already ruled out one of their starters for Game 5. Gabe Vincent is listed as out due to an ankle sprain.
Reports yesterday have Vincent downgraded to questionable. It’s unusual to see a player ruled out this early in the day, but clearly, he was not going to be ready for Game 5 tonight. That changes the game plan for head coach Erik Spoelstra. However, he’s built up a reputation as being one of the best head coaches in the league.
He’ll have to use some rotation players in extended minutes tonight. Heading into Game 5, Miami is (+260) to win on the road. It’s not impossible to win without Vincent, but Boston’s season is on the line tonight. They will be playing at another level to keep their season alive.
Development: Miami’s Gabe Vincent is listed out for Game 5 vs. Boston tonight with an ankle sprain.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 25, 2023
The Heat have already ruled out Gabe Vincent for Game 5 tonight vs the Celtics
So far this postseason, Gabe Vincent had played and started in all 15 of Miami’s games. He’s averaging (13.1) points, (1.6) rebounds, and (4.1) assists per game. His (.375) three-point percentage is better than his (.334) percentage during the regular season. Miami will miss his shooting touch tonight.
Luckily, the Heat do have one player on the bench who would be a starter if they really wanted him to. Caleb Martin has played his best basketball as a Miami Heat in the 2023 playoffs. Specifically the Eastern Conference Finals. He’s averaging (18.5) points and (3.7) rebounds per game.
Martin is also shooting (.457) percent from deep in the Conference Finals. In all four games, he’s played off the bench and is still having incredible production for the Heat. Erik Spoelstra could take a different route tonight and stick with a true PG to replace Vincent. Kyle Lowry has given the Heat valuable minutes this postseason and this could be his chance to step up once again.