Poll: Boston Celtics Vs. Miami Heat

The Celtics defeated the Bucks in their second-round series on Sunday, advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth time in the last six seasons. They’ll play the Heat, who’ve made the conference finals in six of their last 12 seasons.

Boston and Miami have recent postseason history. The teams have met twice in the playoffs over the last decade, both times in the Eastern Conference Finals, with the Heat winning in 2012 and 2020. Both are regarded as strong defensive teams, and either franchise could easily win the championship this season.

Boston had home court advantage against the Bucks, but will start on the road against Miami. The Celtics made an NBA record 22 three-pointers in Game 7 on Sunday, receiving strong contributions from Grant Williams (27 points), Jayson Tatum (23 points) and Jaylen Brown (18 points).

Miami is coming off a series win against Philadelphia. The team caused issues for Trae Young in round one, then proceeded to hold the Sixers to an average of 96 points in the second round. The Heat have been led by Jimmy Butler on both ends — he’s averaging 28.7 points and 2.1 steals per game in the playoffs.

Both Boston and Miami are dealing with injuries to starting players. Celtics center Robert Williams III (left knee soreness) was active for Game 7, but he didn’t see any action. Heat guard Kyle Lowry, meanwhile, is still battling a hamstring injury.

The Celtics will likely continue deploying their switch-heavy defense, while the Heat may wait to see who Boston starts before finalizing matchups. The team could assign Butler and Tucker to Brown and Tatum, for example, but would have to live with Max Strus defending one of Boston’s big men. The Celtics could assign Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart to Butler.

Which team do you think will win this series? Will the Heat advance to the NBA Finals for the second time in the last three seasons, or will the Celtics return to the Finals and compete for an 18th title? Vote in our poll, then take to the comments section below to share your predictions!

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