2022 NBA Eastern Conference Finals Series Prediction – Boston vs. Miami
NBA Series Prediction – Boston vs. Miami
2)Boston takes on 1)Miami in what should be a hotly-contested series in the Eastern Conference Finals. There are some injury concerns for both teams at the point guard position. Marcus Smart (foot) is listed as questionable for Boston and Kyle Lowry (hamstring) is questionable.
The Celtics needed seven games to beat Milwaukee and had two wins the last two after falling behind 3-2. Guard/forward Jayson Tatum has been sensational in the playoffs averaging 28.3 points, 6.1 assists and 5.6 rebounds on 43.8% shooting (38.6% 3pt). The Celts got by a strong defensive team in Milwaukee. However, the Bucks were not known for defending the three (19th in the NBA) and Boston took advantage. In Game 7, as Grant Williams made 7-of-18 three-pointers as he was consistently left open. For Boston to win this series, they need Jaylen Brown (22.2ppg, 6.5rpg) to continue his strong play, though he can be turnover-prone. Having a healthy Robert Williams (10ppg, 9.6rpg, 2.2bpg in regular season) would help defend the paint against Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Boston is an excellent defensive team, led by Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart (15ppg, 6.2apg in the playoffs). He could defend Butler to start, though they can also use Brown and Tatum on him to wear him down.
Unlike Milwaukee, Miami does defend the three (33.9%, 2nd in the NBA), but they are less dynamic offensively. One thing they can do better than anybody else in the NBA is shoot the three (37.9%). However, that number is way down in the playoffs (32.1%) as they are facing teams that actually guard. The Heat needed six games to beat up on the Sixers, who protected the home court until Game 6. Butler is having an excellent postseason (28.7ppg, 7.6rpg, 5.4apg) but he needs help. Adebayo (14.6ppg, 7.7rpg) has been decent, but he’ll need to step up against a Boston team with a lot of size. The surprise for the Heat has been wing Max Strus, who is averaging 12.5 points on 35.1% 3-point shooting. Struss scored 38 points in the last two games against the Sixers and also collected 22 rebounds. He has been great against the Celtics this season, averaging 20.5 points on 50% three-point shooting. If Lowry can’t play or is not 100%, the Heat will need Gabe Vincent (7.5ppg, 3.5apg) to not only play well, but limit the turnovers. Tyler Herro (14.6ppg, 7 .7rpg playoffs) is not a point guard and is shaky against double teams.
(home team in caps)
March 30, 2022: Miami (+5) over BOSTON 106-98
Jan. 31, 2022: BOSTON (-6.5) over Miami 122-92
Nov. 4, 2021: Boston (+6.5) over MIAMI 95-78
(from Draft Kings)
Miami Heat +150
The Celtics could be a title contender the next few seasons with Tatum, Brown, and Smart. However, Miami’s title chances are waning because Butler is 32. However, Adebayo is just 24 and he is going to dominate the boards and the paint in this series. Of course, three-pointers count, but you still have to defend the paint. The Heat can defend the paint and they can defend the perimeter. That’s the difference in this series. Grant Williams won’t be open 18 times to get good looks.
Series Correct Score
Miami 4-3 +390
Series Total Games
7 games +190