Heat vs Celtics: Series Preview & Prediction

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Heat vs Celtics: Series Preview & Prediction

Chicago Bulls

Let’s do this again, shall we? For the third time in the last four seasons, we’ll see the Celtics and Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Last year we were treated to a seven-game thriller that saw Boston survive a late Jimmy Butler go-ahead three-point attempt and hold on for a 100-96 win.

This season, we have two teams who had very different seasons. Boston has been considered one of the top Eastern Conference contenders all season. Miami, however, fought through the entirety of the Play-In Tournament to get themselves a date with the Bucks. Jimmy Butler put the Heat on his back, got them out of the first round, and now has Miami playing its best basketball of the season. Anything can happen when these two teams meet up, this should be a fun series.

Heat vs Celtics Series Schedule

  • Game 1: Wednesday, May 17th – Heat at Celtics – 7:30 pm CT – TNT
  • Game 2: Friday, May 19th – Heat at Celtics – 7:30 pm CT – TNT
  • Game 3: Sunday, May 21st – Celtics at Heat – 7:30 pm CT – TNT
  • Game 4: Tuesday, May 23rd – Celtics at Heat – 7:30 pm CT – TNT
  • Game 5 (if necessary): Thursday, May 25th – Heat at Celtics – 7:30 pm CT – TNT
  • Game 6 (if necessary): Saturday, May 27th – Celtics at Heat – 7:30 pm CT – TNT
  • Game 7 (if necessary): Monday, May 29th – Heat at Celtics – 7:30 pm CT – TNT

Who Is Favored To Win The Series

On DraftKings Sportsbook, the Celtics are currently -525 to win the series while the Heat are +400.

Keys To The Series

  • Playoff Jimmy. This one’s an easy first key for me, as just about any series the Heat play in will likely come down to how far Jimmy Butler can take them. The supporting cast has been great and definitely helped out more in the Knicks series, but this Miami team will go as far as Jimmy can. Last year he got them to the final possession of Game 7. A few years ago he got them to the bubble NBA Finals. Can Jimmy Butler keep putting the team on his back, or will he run out of gas and the Celtics prove to be too much?
  • Coaching matchup. Despite this being the third trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in the past four seasons for Boston, they’re also on their third different head coach in that time span. Joe Mazzulla has done a nice job in the postseason, and his starting lineup shuffle in the latter part of the 76ers series inserting Robert Williams into the starting lineup alongside Al Horford paid off. But he’s also going up against Erik Spoelstra, who’s one of the, if not the best coach in the NBA today. Spoelstra continuously gets more out of his team than any other coach in basketball, and this year’s team is a shining example of that. Boston has the more talented team, but can Spoelstra outduel Mazzulla?
  • Boston’s supporting cast. Jayson Tatum was unreal in Game 7 of the 76ers series and was the biggest reason Boston moved onto the next round past Philly. But Miami is coming off a series with New York where Jalen Brunson played amazing, but they were able to take away just about everyone else. While Boston has a better team than New York, the Knicks do have a decent supporting cast that can score. The Heat were able to limit the scoring from just about everyone not named Jalen Brunson defensively. If they can do that again against Boston, we could be in for an extended series.

Heat vs Celtics Prediction

I really hope Jimmy can put the Heat on his back, but I just don’t think the supporting cast around him is good enough this time around.

Celtics in 7.

Author: Matt Rooney

Matt is from the Chicagoland area and has been working in Chicago sports since 2015 with stops at WGN Radio, the Chicago Blackhawks, Stadium, and NBC Sports Chicago prior to landing at Betsperts. Matt covers just about everything for Betsperts and Bleacher Nation but focuses on the NHL and college football.