This year’s Eastern Conference Finals is going to open up some old wounds. It is 2012 all over again when the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat went toe to toe for a place in the NBA Finals, and it was Heat that eventually won the series.
Both teams are going to be dealing with different kinds of dilemmas. While the Celtics will be determined to get back at the Miami-based outfit for their last loss, this the first time since 2014 that the Heat themselves have made it to the ECF.
This matchup is way more personal than any other that we’ve seen. Therefore, it is a must-watch.
Miami Heat injury update and lineup predictions
It was just earlier this week that the Miami Heat knocked out the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. They will be looking to build on their momentum and keep the aggression up in Game 1 against the Celtics.
The Heat’s dominance this season has been exemplary, and the Bucks had no response to their stellar defense. They have managed to outshine even during clutch moments.
It looks like they are making up for their disappointing performances in the previous five years of the postseason.
Their key payer, Jimmy Butler, has shown why the Heat deserve to be the title favorites. His ability to showcase skills on either side of the court is going to play out very well against the Celtics.
Jae Crowder has been doing surprisingly well too. Chris Silva is the only injured player on the roster and has been declared as a game-time decision.
With most of their players in impeccable shape, the predicted lineup would be Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Jae Crowder, Goran Dragic, and Duncan Robinson.
Boston Celtics injury update and lineup predictions
The Celtics must be on cloud nine after beating the Toronto Raptors. This will be their third consecutive year of entering the Conference Finals. This means that they have more experience than the Miami Heat.
The Celtics’ roster is brimming with talent who can very well step up to the occasion when needed. In addition to that, rumors of Gordon Hayward’s return have been making the rounds.
According to coach Brad Stevens, he is expected to make his comeback anytime during the series against Miami Heat.
— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) September 12, 2020
It’s true that the Kemba Walker has struggled a bit on the offensive front, but Marcus Smart’s defensive prowess has done wonders for the Celtics.
However, the Celtics’ secret weapon is Jayson Tatum. In his last game against the Miami Heat, Tatum became the second-youngest player in the NBA to achieve 25+ points, 10+ rebounds, and 5+ assists in a Game 7.
At 22 years and 192 days old, Jayson Tatum becomes the 2nd youngest player to record 25+ points, 10+ rebounds and 5+ assists in a Game 7.
The youngest is Kobe Bryant (June 4, 2000 at 21 years, 286 days old). pic.twitter.com/hACuEqtEmQ
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) September 12, 2020
Without a doubt, he will prove to be a major asset during their campaign for glory. Javonte Green (knee) and Vincent Poirier (personal) remain probable for Game 1 as well. Thus, the predicted lineup would be Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Daniel Theis, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown.
Since the Miami Heat have enjoyed a lot of time to rest and recover for the Finals, they will be walking in with an upper hand on the Boston-based franchise.
On the other hand, the Celtics’ exhaustion could prove to be their downfall in Game 1 as they take on the Heat on the heels of their win against the Raptors. Therefore, the Heat are expected to take over Game 1 of this series.