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Heat vs. Celtics series predictions in Eastern conference finals of 2022 NBA playoffs

Here’s an in-depth look at the matchup between Heat and Celtics in the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs.

NBA: Playoffs-Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat are getting ready to battle in the Eastern conference finals with a trip to the 2022 NBA Finals on the line. Game 1 of the series is set to tip Tuesday night in Miami at 8:30 PM ET. The Heat and Celtics are the top two teams in the conference. The Heat just won their second-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers in six games. The Celtics won their second-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games.

Heat vs. Celtics predictions

Odds to win series: Celtics -185, Heat +155
Regular season record: Heat 53-29, Celtics 51-31
Head-to-head record: Celtics 2-1

The Heat started their series against the 76ers 2-0 before dropping Games 3 and 4. Joel Embiid missed the first two games in the series before returning in Philly, causing the Heat some problems. Miami quickly adjusted and won the following two games to close the series out. Jimmy Butler led the way for the Heat averaging 27.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. Butler has been the driving force for the Heat during their playoff run and will need to be able to keep pace in the next series. It’s no secret that the Heat pride themselves on defense, as they held the Sixers under 100 points three times during the series.

The Celtics had a back-and-forth series with the Bucks before finally pulling away in Game 7, winning 109-81 behind a surprise 27-point performance from Grant Williams and 23 points from Jayson Tatum. The latter has taken a big step into superstardom and putting his name amongst the game’s elite. Similar to the Heat, the Celtics pride themselves on defense as well, holding the Bucks under 100 points three times in the series. Many felt the series would have been different had Khris Middleton played, but the Celtics won’t worry about that now.

The Celtics were 2-1 against the Heat during the regular season, averaging 105.0 points per game. The key here will be the three-point line. There are times when the Celtics rely too much on shooting from deep. In the three games during the regular season, the Celtics shot 40.0 percent from behind the arc averaging 40 attempts per game. In their series against the Sixers, the Heat limited the Sixers to 31 attempts from deep per game and 29.0 percent shooting. The winner of that battle will have the upper hand in the series.

Pick: Celtics in 6 games

These are the top two seeds in the East for a reason. Both the Heat and Celtics pride themselves on defense, so this will come down to which star can outplay the other. Tatum is averaging 28.0 points per game during the playoffs and ended the series against the Bucks playing well. He should lead Boston to victory in the conference finals and its first Finals appearance since 2010.

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