The Eastern Conference Finals is featuring a matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. Both teams have a long history of rivalry dating back to the time LeBron went to South Beach. It was the time where the Celtic’s Big 3 faced off against the Heat Big 3. So of course it’s a testament of what fans can e, prct from this matchup.
In the regular season, the Boston Celtics have taken care of the Miami Heat 2-1. Although regular season doesn’t tell the whole picture but it is still a start for how to compare the 2 teams going head to head. Obviously there are a lot of other factors revolving around the matchup. This is a battle between the established championship culture going against the badass hardnosed gritty culture.
The Miami Heat is being led by their veteran star, Jimmy Butler. The entire Heat’s team is a representation of how Butler is. He has been the alpha of the team ever since he arrived in Miami. Butler has been playing out of his minds in the playoffs as he has gone from averaging 21.4 points per game in the regular season to a whopping 28.7 points per game in the Playoffs as of now.
If that isn’t impressive, he is leading the Heat in points, assists, steals and blocks. He is behind Bam Adebayo in rebounds by only 0.1. He is completely shutting down his critics after his abysmal playoff performance last year against the Bucks and is showing that their bubble run was not a fluke.
The Boston Celtics is being led by their 23 year old power forward in Jayson Tatum. Tatum has been literally balling this playoffs as he is showing no mercy to any opponent. Till now he has been the main reason why the Celtics could slay the likes of Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
For the Playoffs, he is averaging 28.3 points per game and his ability to take reliable shots in clutch situations has helped the Celtics to make improvements in leaps and bounds. One aspect that gets overlooked is the fact that Tatum has also been defending the best players of the opponent’s teams.
Pieces to the puzzle
In hindsight, the Celtics have better pieces compared to the Heat. Of course, the chemistry that the Heat have is no doubt top-notch but the Celtics have a better relationship overall. They have the Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus Smart and a reliable secondary scoring option who can take the helm of the primary scorer in Jaylen Brown.
Not to mention the Celtics have a mixture of veteran presence like Al Horford and young athletic centers like Robert Williams and Grant Williams. Bringing in Derrick White was the smartest move as he can do a lot more damage on the offensive end.
On the Heat side, Tyler Herro is the x-factor as he can provide the spark on the offensive end and replicate Jaylen Brown’s performance to Jimmy Butler. Bam Adebayo is an all-star version of Robert Williams but he can do more with his jump shots and his dribbling ability.
Kyle Lowry’s and PJ Tucker’s championship experience is the one thing that none of the Celtics have and they can guide the Heat with that. On top of that having players like Victor Oladipo, Max Strus, Duncan Robinson who can put more fuel into the Heat’s offense will come up big time during their series against the Celtics.
Finally both team’s head coach are one of the most aggressive coaches when it comes to planning strategies and they will not hesitate to put their bench players into action if they are performing better than the starters. Certainly, Heat’s coach Eric Spoelstra has a lot of experience and championships under his belt but Celtics’ coach Ime Udoka is a feisty one and he has proven of his skills as a strategist.
Upon comparison, it can be anybody’s game. The Heat can take the Celtics and it is true vice versa. It will be extremely hard to call such a series especially when both teams have equal opportunities to be the victor. But taking into account experience, chemistry, star comparison and the thirst for victory, the Heat have a slight edge over the Celtics but it is going to take them 7 games to decide a true victor among the two.