Miami Heat point guard Gabe Vincent sustained a left ankle injury in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals and will miss Game 5 against the Boston Celtics.
Vincent suffered a sprained left ankle when he tumbled out of bounds trying to save a loose ball. The accident happened in the fourth quarter of a 116-99 loss on Tuesday night in Miami.
After the game, Vincent told reporters that he expects to play in Game 5 despite the injury. On Thursday morning, the Miami Heat updated their injury report and ruled Vincent out.
Vincent becomes the third guard on the Heat who had an injury this postseason. In the first round against the Milwaukee Bucks, shooting guard Tyler Herro fractured his right hand and backup guard Victor Oladipo tore the patellar tendon in his left knee.
Oladipo is out from the rest of the postseason while he recovers from surgery. If the Heat reach the NBA Finals, Herro could return sometime in the series. His cast is off and he’s participating in shooting drills, but there’s no timetable for his return.
Backup Kyle Lowry to Start Game 5
Vincent started 34 games this season, averaging 9.4 points, 2.5 assists, and 2.1 rebounds per game. He stepped up in the postseason and emerged as the Heat’s third-best scorer. Vincent’s inspired play on both ends of the court is one of the primary reasons the Heat are just one victory away from reaching the NBA Finals.
In the postseason, Vincent started all 15 games at point guard. He averages 13.1 points and 4.1 assists per game while connecting on 37.5% of his 3-point attempts.
In four games against the Celtics, Vincent averaged 17.5 points per game while shooting a sizzling 50% from 3-point range.
It’s just not right,” Vincent told The Athletic. “I made a lot of progress even from when we got to Boston last night. So, it’s moving in the right direction, hopefully, it continues to trend that way.”
“Gabe is feeling better, just not good enough to play an Eastern Conference finals game,” said Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “It’s great having a Hall-of-Fame quarterback to step in.”
Kyle Lowry will start at point guard in Game 5. But you can expect small forward Jimmy Butler to handle point guard duties as well.
Lowry began the season as the starting point guard until he missed five weeks with a leg injury. Vincent took over as the starter and Lowry came off the bench for the rest of the season after he recovered from his injury.
Lowry averaged 11.2 points, 5.1 assists, and 4.1 rebounds for the Heat in the regular season. He averages 9.2 points and 4.5 assists off the bench in the playoffs. He’s also shooting 35% from 3-point range.
Betting the Heat/Celtics in Game 5
The #2 Celtics entered the Eastern Conference finals as the betting favorite at -525 odds to win the conference crown in consecutive seasons. The Celtics defeated the Heat last year to advance to the 2022 NBA Finals. This series is the third time in the last four postseasons that the Celtics and Heat met in the conference finals.
The #8 Heat entered the conference finals as an underdog at +400 odds. They won the first two games of the series on the road in Boston before they opened a 3-0 lead with a 28-point blowout win in Game 3 in Miami.
The Celtics avoided a sweep with a 17-point victory in Game 4. The series returns to Boston for Game 5 where the Celtics face a second-straight elimination game.
With a 3-1 lead, the Heat are -255 odds to win the series, according to DraftKings. The Celtics are +210 odds to win the series and rally back from an 0-3 deficit.
Oddsmakers installed the Celtics as a -8 favorite in Game 5. The point spread didn’t move after the Heat revealed Vincent won’t play.
The Celtics are 1-3 against the point spread (ATS) this series, and 9-8 ATS overall in the playoffs. The Heat are 3-1 ATS against the Celtics and 11-4 ATS overall in the postseason.
The Denver Nuggets swept the Los Angeles Lakers to win the Western Conference and reach the NBA Finals. The Nuggets are the consensus favorite to win the 2022-23 NBA championship at -205 odds. The Heat are currently +390 odds to win the championship, and the Celtics are +450 odds.
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