3 bold predictions for Heat in Game 5 vs. Knicks

After days full of basketball, the second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs is coming down to the wire. Some franchises already have the chance to close out their series in the next game, giving it even more importance in the league. With the Miami Heat set to face the New York Knicks on the road on Wednesday, it means it is time for some Heat Game 5 bold predictions.

Miami went 44-38 in the regular season, earning the No. 7 seed in the East in the process. This represented nine fewer wins compared to 2021-22. The Heat ended up officially clinching a postseason bid by defeating the Chicago Bulls in the Play-In Tournament.

The team is coming off an upset 4-1 series victory over the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, who also had the best record in the league.

On the other side, the Knicks finished the regular season with a 47-35 record. With the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, New York returned to the postseason after a one-year absence.

In the first round, the Knicks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games, marking the franchise’s first playoff series win since 2013.

In the conference semifinals, the Heat stole Game 1 with a 108-101 victory. The Knicks bounced back with a 111-105 win with Jimmy Butler on the sidelines. Miami would then win back-to-back games in Florida to open a 3-1 lead.

Now back at Madison Square Garden, the Heat will have the chance to close out the series. With all that in mind, here are some bold predictions for the Miami Heat for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals versus the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

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3. Miami holds Julius Randle to at most 20 points

One player who could give Miami a lot of trouble in Game 5 is Julius Randle. The forward is coming off a career year and should be a crucial piece for the Knicks on Wednesday.

In the regular season, Randle put up a career-high 25.1 points, 10 boards and 4.1 assists. He made 45.9% of his field goals, 34.3% of his 3-pointers and 75.7% of his free throws. He notably earned the second All-Star selection of his career.

However, his numbers are considerably down in the playoffs. He is averaging 15.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He is shooting just 37.5% from the field, 23.1% from beyond the arc and 69.4% from the charity stripe.

The bold prediction is that Miami will limit his impact in the game. Expect him to finish the night with at most 20 points, which might not be enough to help the Knicks stay alive in the season.

2. Jimmy Butler has a 30-point performance

As for the Heat, the team will need Jimmy Butler to continue his historic playoff run. Despite dealing with injuries throughout the season, the forward is still having one of the best campaigns of his career.

In the playoffs, Butler is recording a career-high 33.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists plus 1.6 steals. He is making 56.1% of his field-goal attempts, 39.4% of his 3-pointers and 77.2% of his free throws.

That includes a 56-point performance against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. He also scored 42 points in the series-clinching Game 5.

Against the Knicks, Butler is averaging 26.7 points, 7.0 boards and 5.7 assists. It is worth noting that he suffered an injury in the series opener that kept him out of Game 2.

He has yet to surpass the 30-point mark versus New York this postseason, even though he led the team in scoring in all three games he appeared in.

With the chance of closing the series out, the bold prediction is that Butler will have a big performance. He should score 30-plus on Wednesday, which will likely be a team, or even game-best mark. Should that happen, Miami will be in a solid position to win this one.

1. Heat close out the series 4-1

At the end of the day, it is difficult to ignore how well the Heat has been playing in this year’s playoffs. Although Giannis Antetokounmpo missed some time in the first round, Miami nevertheless had control of the series versus the top-seeded Milwaukee.

Additionally, the Heat’s only loss in the second round came in Game 2 when Butler was out with an ankle injury. Because of that, Miami might have momentum on its side.

According to FanDuel, the Knicks are actually the favorites to win on Wednesday. Currently, the spread is -3.5, which is the lowest among games with their odds already announced.

The bold prediction is that while the Knicks will have their moments, the Heat will end up closing out the series in five games. With Butler having another big performance, it might be too much for the young New York squad to overcome.

The post 3 bold predictions for Heat in Game 5 vs. Knicks appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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