The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will once again take part in the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2023 NBA playoffs. The Celtics and Heat met last year as the top two seeds in the East in the conference finals, with Boston winning the series 4-3. Here’s a look at how these teams match up this time around.
No. 2 Celtics vs. No. 8 Heat
Head-to-head record: Tied 2-2
Overall record: Celtics 57-25, Heat 44-38
Leading scorer on Celtics: Jayson Tatum
Leading scorer on Heat: Jimmy Butler
Odds to win series: Celtics -525, Heat +400
The Celtics are on a familiar path from a season ago. They won a second-round series in seven games despite being down 3-2 once again, setting up this conference finals rematch. Jayson Tatum has woken up after a relatively quiet series, and the peripheral players have started to gain confidence as they see him picking up steam. The Celtics are more reliant on three-point shooting this year than in seasons past, but they do have arguably the deepest rotation left in the playoffs. If Tatum and Jaylen Brown can keep up this production, Boston will make the Finals.
The Heat have become a one-man wrecking crew courtesy of Jimmy Butler, who is proving he’s a superstar in the league. Butler has been averaging insane numbers, while getting just enough support from the likes of Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo and Max Strus. Tyler Herro’s injury has put a bit of a damper on Miami’s hopes, but this team is playing at an unstoppable level at the perfect time. Can the Heat reverse last year’s result and turn the tables on Boston?