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NBA expert Jonathan Macri is here with his prediction and picks for the Thursday night matchups between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics and the Suns vs. Rockets

Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics Prediction: Pick From an NBA Expert

When: Thursday, November 4, 7:30 p.m ET 

Where to Watch: NBA TV

Spread: Heat -6

Total: 214.5

Click Here For Heat vs. Celtics Odds

Heat vs. Celtics Prediction

Can the Miami Heat be Stopped?

The beat - and the beatings - go on.

Miami’s latest victim: the previously 4-2 Dallas Mavericks, who had been undefeated at home before Miami came in and put up 125 points in a 15-point win. The Mavs came into that game with a top-10 defense, only to get caught under the steamroller that is the NBA’s best team by a comfortable margin. Miami is now outscoring opponents by 16.4 points per 100 possessions, a good deal better than second-place Utah (12.1) and nearly double the fourth place Sixers.

As timing would have it, the Heat’s next opponent is perhaps the most troubled team in the NBA at the moment. The Boston Celtics have a new coach and, with their swap of Kemba Walker for Al Horford, were supposed to have been reinvigorated and revert back to form as the team that made three conference finals in five seasons.

The result has been anything but. In addition to a 3-5 record and a bottom-seven net rating, the Celtics are taking shots at each other in postgame pressers. Earlier in the season, Al Horford openly questioned the energy and effort of certain members of the team, and then after Monday’s 14-point home loss to the Bulls, Marcus Smart openly called out teammates Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum for not facilitating the offense enough when opponents key in on them.

They now head into Miami on the second night of a back-to-back (after a win against the hapless Magic) to face a Heat squad that is defending at a better rate than any NBA team in a decade with a 97.9 rating. Normally, that would be the textbook setup for a trap game, but Miami seems hell-bent on reclaiming their place atop the league’s hierarchy, and with all of the preseason contenders struggling to one degree or another, they have the opportunity to do just that.

Except they can’t let up. This line is high, but not high enough given how these teams have performed. Boston is in a bad place, and it’ll only get worse after Thursday night.

Heat vs. Celtics Pick

Phoenix Suns vs. Houston Rockets Prediction

When: 10:00 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: NBA TV

Suns vs. Rockets Odds

Is Phoenix finally starting to figure things out?

They’ve won two in a row against the undermanned Pelicans and the feisty Cavs to get their record back to .500. After a slow start, Chris Paul seems to be rounding into form, still not taking many threes (he attempted zero in their win vs New Orleans) but is otherwise playing well, and is fresh off passing Mark Jackson and Steve Nash for 3rd place on the NBA’s all-time assists list.

Now they stay at home to face a Rockets team that is 1-6 but has shown signs of life. They just played two straight in LA against the Lakers, losing by 10 and two points, respectively. Those losses came after a home blowout against the Jazz and a 10-point loss in Dallas. Their one win – a blowout vs the relegation-eligible Thunder – barely counts.

This spread gives some pause until you remember that Phoenix started slowly last season as well, and then transformed into the best team in the league after a 4-4 start. The Rockets have talent but are the third lowest-scoring team in the league. The Suns’ defense should be able to have their way.

Suns vs. Rockets Pick

Article Author


Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.


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