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The Boston Celtics are coming off of an impressive victory over the reigning NBA Champions. However with a longer rest time, home court advantage, and a strong interior presence, the Heat should set the tone from the outset.
Miami Heat def. Boston Celtics
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|Ime Udoka||Head Coach||Erik Spoelstra|
|51-31 (2nd in East)||Standing||53-29 (1st in East)|
|114.4 (7th of 30)||Off Rtg||113.7 (10th of 30)|
|106.9 (2nd of 30)||Def Rtg||109.1 (5th of 30)|
|96.6 (24th of 30)||Pace||95.9 (28th of 30)|
|J. Tatum (28.3)||PPG||J. Butler (28.7)|
|A. Horford (9.4)||RPG||B. Adebayo (7.7)|
|M. Smart (6.2)||APG||J. Butler (5.4)|
|J. Brown (1.5)||SPG||J. Butler (2.1)|
|R. Williams (1.8)||BPG||B. Adebayo, J. Butler (0.6)|
|D. Theis (.550)/J. Tatum (9.4)||FG%/FGM||B. Adebayo (.594)/J. Butler (10.4)|
|A. Horford (.451)/J. Tatum (3.5)||3P%/3PM||P. Tucker (.484)/M. Strus (3.0)|
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|Sam Hauser||Boston Celtics||08 May 2022||Out (Shoulder)||Hauser is expected to miss a few weeks.|
|Kyle Lowry||Miami Heat||13 May 2022||Day to Day (Hamstring)||Lowry was OUT for Miami’s Thursday (May 12) game.|
The Boston Celtics have really turned around their season. From starting off as one of the Eastern Conference’s worst teams, they are now one series away from winning the Conference crown. Due to their lack of size and an injury to Robert Williams, the Celtics need to defend the paint.
Despite being one of the league’s best three-point shooting teams through the season, sixth in threes made per game (13.6) and first in efficiency (.379), the Heat have struggled to find their range. Through the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the Heat are one of the worst three-point shooting teams at just 32.1% per game.
Miami are, however, first in two-point efficiency at 56.5% per game. The Celtics have been one of the better interior defending teams through the players, allowing just 50.1% conversion inside the arc. However with their key big man out and Ime Udoka running a smaller lineup, Boston must maintain their defensive standards at the rim to overcome the Heat.
Leading the charge ?? pic.twitter.com/UVlPppc1vB
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 16, 2022
One of the true young superstars in the NBA, Jayson Tatum’s is slowly gaining the accomplishment and recognition by forcing his way into the Eastern Conference Finals year after year. The Heat will present Tatum his biggest challenge yet.
In Boston’s second round series where they took down the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks, Jayson Tatum starred. He averaged 27.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.1 blocks, and 1.0 steals.
Tatum has been in stellar offensive form, as neither the Nets nor Bucks have been able to contain him. If he can navigate the Heat’s stellar defence, the sky’s the limit for Boston.
The Miami Heat enter this series with some concern as lead guard Kyle Lowry still doesn’t project to be ready for Game 1. With the absence of Lowry, the Heat have struggled to maintain their usually impressive ball movement.
Miami have only lost 3 times through the 2022 NBA Playoffs, but the common trend in all of those matches is their poor shooting and playmaking. They are shooting 42.1% from the field and 25.5% in losses, while also averaging just 22.7 assists to 13.7 turnovers.
With one of the most versatile and switch-ready defences in the NBA, the Celtics present a difficult challenge for Miami. If the Heat can vary their offence and find production in the paint, it will improve their chances from three.
Against Philly, Jimmy Butler leads the Heat in:
▫️ Rebounds (tied)
Playoff Jimmy is back.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 12, 2022
The Miami Heat continue to rely on Jimmy Butler when their back is against the wall. The six-time All-Star has arguably been the best player through these 2022 NBA Playoffs, and he’ll have a massive test ahead of him in the Boston Celtics.
Butler dominated the Sixers in Miami’s second-round series, leading to their victory. He posted averages of 27.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.7 steals in 37.5 minutes per game. He was an efficient 51.3% from the field overall, but just 32.1% from the three-point line.
The Celtics have employed one of the Playoffs’ most efficient defences through the first two rounds. Butler has struggled with his shot, something that may determine the Heat’s early success in this series.
|Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat Information|
|Who||Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat|
|Where||FTX Arena, Miami, Florida|
|When||Tuesday, 8:30 PM EST, May 17th, 2022|
|How to Watch||ESPN|
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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