Celtics/Heat Player Props Preview Article


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Game 3 Celtics-Heat: 3 Player Props: Malcolm Brogdon to Help Save Boston

Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat
Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 8:30 p.m. ET at Kaseya Center in Miami

  • Malcolm Brogdon repeatedly scores over 14 points
  • Brogdon plays an extensive role in his team's offense
  • He has underperformed from deep in this series

Malcom Brogdon's Opportunities

The over/under for Celtic guard Malcolm Brogdon's point total tonight is 14.5. This number is too low.

Oddsmakers effectively underestimate the role that Brogdon plays in his team's offense.

He regularly accrues about 30 minutes per game.

Brogdon has exceeded this point total in six of his last nine games.

In the three games in which he did not exceed 14.5 points, he failed to make more than two threes.

However, he is a versatile enough scorer that, in Game 1 of this series, for example, he accrued 19 points despite making only two threes.

That being said, optimism toward his point total should derive extensively from an expectation that he will be productive from behind the arc.

I like Brogdon because he attempts a lot of threes, is an efficient three-point shooter, and is sure to get opportunities because Miami is determined primarily to limit Jayson Tatum, who is Boston's main star.

Brogdon's Three-Point Shooting

So far this series, Brogdon has attempted 2.5 wide-open three-pointers per game.

He hasn't scored more points, because he is converting them at a disappointing 20-percent rate.

In a similar vein, he is attempting 1.5 open three-pointers per game and is underperforming by converting 33.3 percent of them.

But Brogdon is a good shooter -- he made 44.4 percent of his three-point attempts in this regular season.

So, one should expect him to perform strongly.

Plus, he'll get plenty of chances, especially against a Miami defense that is allowing open three-point attempts at the highest frequency in these playoffs.

Best Bet: Malcolm Brogdon over 14.5 points at -103 with BetOnline

  • Boston will shift defensive focus to Caleb Martin
  • Kyle Lowry is flying under the radar
  • Lowry is a reliable scorer against the Celtics

Kyle Lowry's Teammates

The key to figuring out how any of Miami's multitude of pretty good players will do is to consider their teammates and Boston's defensive strategy.

So far, Miami has relied significantly on Caleb Martin.

Martin has stepped up with 15 points in Game 1 and 25 points in Game 2.

With this Game 2 performance, he has surely attracted the Celtics' defensive attention.

In Game 2, though, Boston did not accord him enough respect.

The Celtics constantly left him wide open -- Martin accrued six wide-open three-point attempts.

They will not want to get burned for 25 points again by Martin, so, for Game 3, they will prevent him from attempting so many wide-open three-pointers.

Consider what they did to Philadelphia's De'Anthony Melton in their last series.

Melton burned the Celtics in Game 1 of that series, making five three-pointers en route to a 17-point scoring output.

Boston responded by guarding him more closely -- whereas he combined for five open or wide-open three-point attempts in Game 1, he combined for one such three-point attempt in Game 2 and thus declined from scoring 17 points in Game 1 to managing two points in Game 2.

Kyle Lowry's Turn

My point is that the Celtics cannot guard everyone closely, and they will focus now on limiting Martin.

Kyle Lowry scored zero points in Game 2, so he will fly under the radar.

Lowry is already a reliable candidate to perform against the Celtics -- before Game 2, he scored 15, 14, 20, and 17 points in four different games against them this year.

So, he can clearly do well against the Celtics and tonight's game is a good spot for him.

Best Bet: Kyle Lowry over 9.5 points at -112 with BetOnline

  • Jaylen Brown was unusually off in Game 2
  • Brown is normally a strong postseason performer. A halfway decent output from deep will enable him to fly past 23 points.
  • Brown will benefit from good spacing and Miami's defensive focus on Jayson Tatum

Respect for Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown is characteristically a strong performer in the playoffs.

Whereas, in his career, he averages 17.9 points per game in the regular season, his career postseason scoring average is higher, at 18.2 points per game, even though the quality of competition increases.

Brown is, in a similar vein, an efficient scorer in the postseason.

This year, he is converting 51.6 percent of his field goals and 42.2 percent of his three-point attempts in the postseason.

I say all of this because it is easy to underestimate Brown based on his Game 2 performance.

In Game 2, Brown mustered 16 points, which is way fewer than the 24 points he would need tonight for his point total "over" to hit.

But the odds are what they are because Brown is still Brown.

Brown's scoring debacle in Game 2 does not reflect his offensive potential in this series but rather that he was off in the game.

Hence, Brown was also terrible on the defensive end, allowing opposing players to cut and otherwise score at ease.

Jaylen Brown's Scoring

Brown will score a lot because Miami is focused especially on Tatum.

In Game 2, for example, the Heat often double-teamed Tatum.

The Celtics also have a lot of shooters who can provide spacing for Brown.

Brown will ably plow through the opposing defense in iso plays.

While he can work through contact inside, he is also a reliable shooter.

There is no way that he is going to shoot one-for-six or one-for-seven from deep again, as he did in Games 1 and 2, respectively.

Impressively, he scored 22 points in Game 1 despite being underperforming from deep.

Best Bet: Jaylen Brown over 23.5 points at -121 with BetOnline