NBA Playoff Preview: Eastern Conference Finals

Celtics Heat

The NBA playoffs have been a thriller and we now boil down to just four remaining teams. The Eastern Conference consists of two rigorous and adept squads in the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. Both teams have held their ground throughout the vigorous postseason and are in striking distance of the illustrious NBA Finals. In a series of seven, both squads will face off to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals.

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The Matchup

After a gruesome playoff campaign, the Heat and Celtics matchup is the showstopper everyone has been aching for. Both teams display talent on both sides of the ball. The Heat, for instance, comprises a frontcourt of Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, and P.J. Tucker who have been quite effective throughout the playoffs. The guard component consists of Max Strus and Kyle Lowry. Although, Lowry has nursed with recent hamstring issues which could sideline him for Game 1. In his place, Gabe Vincent and Tyler Herro have been the alternatives at the guard position. Nonetheless, after polishing off the Philadelphia 76ers, the Heat awaits Jayson Tatum and his peers.   

From the Brooklyn Nets in Round 1 to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Conference Semifinals, the Celtics seemed to click on all affairs. Formed around prized asset Tatum, the Celtics had no issue supporting the virtuous forward. From Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart at guard to Al Horford and Grant Williams in the frontcourt, who all proved to be dependable forces. In addition, the Celtic bench displayed a certain knack themselves. Embodied by Payton Pritchard, Derrick White, and Daniel Theis, head coach Ime Udoka seemed fairly confident in his preserves. 

Miami Heat X-Factor: Tyler Herro

Throughout the 2022 postseason, Herro has been the rotational guard who can catch fire at any moment. After winning the Sixth Man of the Year award, Herro obtained a certain flare heading into the playoffs. As the playoffs took effect, Herro went to work. He gave the Heat a certain dazzle and thrust which propelled them toward victory. Whether in the opening series against the Atlanta Hawks to the most recent contest with the 76ers, Herro made his presence when accounted for. 

Boston Celtics X-Factor: Grant Williams

While Williams wasn’t too efficient throughout the ceaseless Celtics’ playoff run, he caught the hot hand at the right moments. From draining six threes in Game 2 of the Conference Semifinals to Sunday night’s thriller, led to a 21-point performance from him. The Celtics could use a hot hand from Williams in the Conference Finals and hope he can preserve his offensive mindset.

Series Prediction: Miami Heat 4 – Boston Celtics 3

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Main Image Credit: via Heat Nation

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