The Eastern Conference Finals will feature a matchup between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat to do decide one half of this year’s NBA Finals participants. Who has the head-to-head edge when stacking up the two teams?
After taking down the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, the Heat have a lot of momentum built heading into their matchup with the Celtics. However, Boston is coming off a hard fought series that went to 7 games against the Raptors.
According to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, an anonymous NBA Scout explained the quickness of the Celtics’ top offensive options will be a real test for the Heat’s defense. This is a key area where Boston differs from the Bucks — posing a greater challenge for Miami.
“I think Boston’s quickness offensively is going to be decisive between (Jayson) Tatum, (Jaylen) Brown and (Kemba) Walker. Gordon Hayward coming back would be kind of the icing on the cake. Who knows if he’s even going to play and what kind of shape he’s in? That doesn’t really figure into the analysis.
“Unlike the Milwaukee series, Miami’s defensive matchups I think are less favorable (against Boston). You can say nobody really matched up with Giannis. But he had a height advantage; he didn’t have a quickness advantage. If you go through Miami’s defenders — (Jae) Crowder, (Goran) Dragic, (Jimmy) Butler, (Duncan) Robinson — none of those guys are very quick, and they’re going to be playing three of the quickest offensive guys in the league. So I think their defense is going to be on their back heels a lot.
There is going to be a lot of pressure on Bam Adebayo to stay fresh and effective when handling switching assignments throughout each of the Heat’s games against the Celtics. The shifty talents Boston has will pose genuine issues for Miami’s on-ball defenders.
The scout has concerns about some of the complementary talents on the Heat and their ability to sustain lights out execution from prior to this series. Both Jae Crowder and Goran Dragic have played so well, but is it sustainable?
“The other thing about Miami is Crowder’s playing out of his mind. It’s hard for me to see him continuing at the level he’s been (playing). I mean, what’s he shooting for the playoffs from 3? Is that going to continue? He’s been an X-factor with how well he’s played, and I just have a hard time thinking he’s going to continue. And Dragic also — is he going to continue at that level he’s played? He’s very good and he’s played very well.
It will be fascinating to see who will come out on top in this Eastern Conference Finals matchup. The Heat and Celtics each have a case that can be made regarding why they could win this series, but the scout does make a strong case for Boston.
Regardless of the winner, it will be no easy task to face whoever will represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals. Whether it’s the Clippers, Lakers, or Nuggets, each of those teams has a lot of talent that pose challenges in their own right.
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