The Heat finally know who stands between them and a trip to the NBA Finals.
With a 109-81 decimation of the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday, the Boston Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston takes on Miami in Game 1 on Tuesday at the FTX Arena in Miami at 8:30 p.m.
Whether the Celtics or the Bucks win, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said it wouldn’t make much of a difference to the top seed in the East.
“At this point, whoever the two teams know from the regular season and how much we’ve played against each team in the playoffs,” Spoelstra said.
The Heat and the Celtics are no strangers to each other. The Heat overtook the Celtics in the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals before falling to the Lakers in the NBA Finals.
Miami has faced Boston three times in the regular season, losing two of the three games. The Heat won the last game on March 30.
Celtics star Jayson Tatum has averaged 17.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists against the Heat in those three games this season. In 15 career games against Miami, Tatum averaged 20.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
“Just the experience,” said Bam Adebayo. “I feel like that’s the most important thing. You start to understand a guy’s tendencies after playing him year after year. And then you see them improving or leaving the other day. “, according to his work ethic. You watch the guys progress in this league after two, three years of playing each other. You kind of get a feel for their game and how they play.
Miami has the advantage over Boston due to having time to recover. Miami ended its streak against Philadelphia with a Game 6 win on Thursday, giving the Heat four full days to rest and prepare for the Conference Finals. Meanwhile, the Celtics will need to regroup and travel to Miami for the start of the next series on Tuesday.
“It’s important,” goaltender Tyler Herro said. “Between the Atlanta series and the Philly series, we had a few days and now we have a few days before the next series. I think it’s good for our group to rest for a few days, to go into the facility together , to train and prepare for the next series.
Eastern Conference Finals Schedule
Game 1: Tuesday, May 17 – Boston at Miami, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 2: Thursday, May 19 — Boston at Miami, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 3: Saturday, May 21 – Miami at Boston 8:30 p.m. (ABC)
Game 4: Monday, May 23 – Miami at Boston 8:30 p.m. (ABC)
Game 5: Wednesday, May 25 – Boston at Miami, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)*
Game 6: Friday, May 27 – Miami at Boston, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)*
Game 7: Sunday, May 29 – Boston at Miami, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)*