Celtics vs. Heat, Round 3 Discussion

Who you got?


  • Total voters
    333
  • Poll closed .

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
43,301
Hartford, CT
The Heat are the best team that the Celtics will have faced thus far. It's almost like the Nets but with their stars performing and a proper high functioning bench. These are the two best teams in the Conference, and probably the NBA. I think the winner here wins it all.

I have Celtics in 6 simply because I am heart picking. I don't want to have to win a game 7 in Miami.
I’m not sure I see any similarities between the Nets and Heat.
 

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
SoSH Member
Dec 6, 2003
22,353
Central NJ SoSH Chapter
I’m not sure I see any similarities between the Nets and Heat.
Bad phrasing. I was juxtaposing to the Bucks who were a shallow team with Middleton out. I guess what I meant is...this is a team that had multiple stars, and added the bench to support them, as opposed to the Nets who had no bench. Regardless, this is the best team, IMO, we have faced thus far.
 

dhellers

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2005
3,674
Silver Spring, Maryland
Bad phrasing. I was juxtaposing to the Bucks who were a shallow team with Middleton out. I guess what I meant is...this is a team that had multiple stars, and added the bench to support them, as opposed to the Nets who had no bench. Regardless, this is the best team, IMO, we have faced thus far.
And the celts are FAR better than anyone Miami has faced in these playoffs.

Does that make a difference? I really don't know.
 

TripleOT

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2007
6,426
Celtics in 5. Boston gets one of the first two games in Miami, holds at home, and closes it out in Miami.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
26,854
Celtics in 5. Boston gets one of the first two games in Miami, holds at home, and closes it out in Miami.
Very possible. Our toughest game of the series will be on Tuesday night. If we can somehow win then the sweep is not off the table. I do expect us to lose that one but end it in no more than 6.
 

ehaz

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 30, 2007
4,350
Despite the team flaws and the Middleton injury I think the Bucks and Giannis are scarier than the Heat. Kyle Lowry is 36 and has a bum hamstring. Jimmy Butler is good but being defended by a washed James Harden and Tobias Harris is very different than Brown/Tatum/Smart/Grant. Same goes for Strus. Defending Bam will be a cakewalk compared to Giannis for Al. Herro is overrated. And PJ Tucker is a thousand years old.

I voted Celtics in 6 but now I want to re-vote for Celtics in 5.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

has big, douchey shoulders
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Very possible. Our toughest game of the series will be on Tuesday night. If we can somehow win then the sweep is not off the table. I do expect us to lose that one but end it in no more than 6.
I agree with all of this.
Tuesday seems like a long shot. But if we win that one, it should be a short series.
 

HomeRunBaker

bet squelcher
SoSH Member
Jan 15, 2004
26,854
Despite the team flaws and the Middleton injury I think the Bucks and Giannis are scarier than the Heat. Kyle Lowry is 36 and has a bum hamstring. Jimmy Butler is good but being defended by a washed James Harden and Tobias Harris is very different than Brown/Tatum/Smart/Grant. Same goes for Strus. Defending Bam will be a cakewalk compared to Giannis for Al. Herro is overrated. And PJ Tucker is a thousand years old.

I voted Celtics in 6 but now I want to re-vote for Celtics in 5.
Agreed. The Bucks were a nightmare matchup with Giannis, their bigs at the rim and shooters. I’ve got us in 6, maybe even less. I’m in a poker room in FL right now and all everyone was talking about is how Miami gets to play Dallas and not Phoenix. Haven’t even heard the word “Boston” or “Celtics” all night. This is perfect!
 

greek_gawd_of_walks

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 14, 2009
8,555
Wiscansin, by way of Attleboro
This feels like a series you need Rob to semi-negate the Bam rolls to the rim.

I'm saying celts in seven, because I haven't seen the Rob from the regular season. If he's able to come back and be T I M E L O R D impactful, I'm saying celts in five, worst case six.

Someone needs to take the burden from Al. He was pretty spent after game four in MKE (but the defense didn't waver). I'd feel a lot better if Old Rob showed up.

I think they match up really well on paper. But Spo is a pro at making origami of what I think. Close out on shooters. Be physical at the rim. Make the extra pass on offense.

If that happens, we are in the finals.
 

uk_sox_fan

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 11, 2006
1,273
London, England
So winning game 1 is needed for the sweep?
Winning Game 1 is absolutely critical for having a chance at a sweep. In fact, if they let G1 slip away I’d have to say there’s just no way you can expect a sweep, no matter what they do the rest of the way. Of course, even if they pull it out Tuesday night, they would still have to bring it in G2 and win that to even think they could sweep the series. A split in Miami might feel like a good result but if it’s a sweep you’re after you just have to take both games - really there isn’t a path without doing that.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
9,864
Toscana via Kyiv
Agreed. The Bucks were a nightmare matchup with Giannis, their bigs at the rim and shooters. I’ve got us in 6, maybe even less. I’m in a poker room in FL right now and all everyone was talking about is how Miami gets to play Dallas and not Phoenix. Haven’t even heard the word “Boston” or “Celtics” all night. This is perfect!
Totally with you. People have PTSD from the 2020 series against Miami and trying to stop Bam, but that was a rotation with Theis and nothing at the 5. Now, even if TL doesn't play a minute, Horford matches up great, and Grant is a much different player than he was as a rookie.

Miami is good defensively, but going from playing Milwaukee to playing a team without much rim protection is going to feel like night and day.

At the end of the day, the Heat are going to have a really, hard time scoring consistently against Boston. It's a terrible matchup for them. They may take game 1 just due to letdown/fatigue on the Cs end, but I have full confidence that the Celtics are a significantly better team, and that that will show over 7 games (and expect it not to go that long).
 

Eddie Jurak

canderson-lite
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
40,113
Melrose, MA
I went Celtics in 7.

Things that worry me in this series are:
  • Jimmy Butler has been other-worldly in the playoffs so far: 28.7/7.6/5.4. Shooting 53% from the field, getting 2.1 steals, and rarely turning the ball over.
  • Bam Adebayo is a great player and has been a legit Celtic killer. Marcus Smart is a fantastic defender of bigs for a 6'3" guard and he did some nice work guarding Freaking Giannis in the Bucks series. If you asked me which big always destroys Marcus, it is Bam.
  • Tyler Herro and (if he's back) Kyle Lowry because they like Bam have been Celtic killers.
  • The Celtics had to battle through a hard fought 7-game series and aren't getting so much as an extra rest day before the Heat series starts.
  • It is not at all clear how ready Rob really is to play - he may be a total nonfactor for the series. Even if he does come back, will he be physically limited and how much of his time will be spent shaking off rust
  • Miami runs smaller than the Bucks - and without Rob that may mean smaller lineups for the Celtics and they are a little thin depth wise. Pritchard can give them minutes at the offensive end if he has regained confidence in his shot but he will still be hunted on the defensive end
  • Al is 35 and after his grat game 4 took a noticeable step back in the offense, so we may not see THAT Al again
Reasons for optimism. Fewer of these but they are more important.
  • Miami is lacking in depth. I like Max Strus just fine, we could use him on the Celtics now as a rotation player, but for all of that he just doesn't scare me. Some for Duncan Robinson even though he eviscerated the C's a couple of years ago. There's no one you really have to worry about after Butler, Herro, Adebayo, and if healthy Lowry
  • The Celtics defense is really freaking good and that is what wins playoff games
  • I haven't seen enough of Miami to know, but I think that despite their one seed, they might just not be at the same level of play as the Celtics. If the Celtics turnaround happens 2 weeks earlier it would be the Celtics in the one seed. I called it Celtics in 7, but Celtics in fewer would not surprise me.
Edit: Two more reasons for optimism:
  • With his play in game 6 and 7, especially, Tatum showed that he could step his game up to a new level to meet the moment. After his game 3 he could have been the goat if the team had lost, but he took over an elimination game that was slipping away from the Celtics and then played a great game 7.
  • The fact that that the team needed to step up with Tatum in foul trouble AND THEY DID STEP UP has to be a great morale boost heading on to the next round in games 6 and 7 the Celtics got both things you want to see from a championship-level NBA team: the star player taking the game into his own hands and winning it, and the rest of the team doing the same without the star.
 
Last edited:

Pablo's TB Lover

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 10, 2017
4,656
The thing with the 21 percent chance of happening happened. Faulty model!
Heh, yeah my tongue was firmly in cheek. I'm kind of surprised it is high as 70% seeing as the Cs are without home court advantage. Seems like once we get into this part of the postseason I wouldn't feel great about any odds south of 40% or north of 60%.

Edit: But if 538 had a bunch of 56.7% and 48.2% numbers, they wouldn't get the eyeballs/attention.
 

Mooch

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
3,547
The guy who scares me as an X factor is Oladipo. He can give them solid 2 way play and streaky good shooting. He will be a problem in this series.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
32,870
Hingham, MA
Heh, yeah my tongue was firmly in cheek. I'm kind of surprised it is high as 70% seeing as the Cs are without home court advantage. Seems like once we get into this part of the postseason I wouldn't feel great about any odds south of 40% or north of 60%.

Edit: But if 538 had a bunch of 56.7% and 48.2% numbers, they wouldn't get the eyeballs/attention.
The 538 numbers for the Warriors in particular caught my eye. They're only at 37% to beat the Mavs despite having home court, but even more surprisingly, they're only at 9% to win it all, which implies they are only ~24% likely to beat the East winner should they get there. Maybe I'm just living in the past but that feels low.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
9,864
Toscana via Kyiv
I went Celtics in 7.

Things that worry me in this series are:
  • Jimmy Butler has been other-worldly in the playoffs so far: 28.7/7.6/5.4. Shooting 53% from the field, getting 2.1 steals, and rarely turning the ball over.
  • Bam Adebayo is a great player and has been a legit Celtic killer. Marcus Smart is a fantastic defender of bigs for a 6'3" guard and he did some nice work guarding Freaking Giannis in the Bucks series. If you asked me which big always destroys Marcus, it is Bam.
  • Tyler Herro and (if he's back) Kyle Lowry because they like Bam have been Celtic killers.
  • The Celtics had to battle through a hard fought 7-game series and aren't getting so much as an extra rest day before the Heat series starts.
  • It is not at all clear how ready Rob really is to play - he may be a total nonfactor for the series. Even if he does come back, will he be physically limited and how much of his time will be spent shaking off rust
  • Miami runs smaller than the Bucks - and without Rob that may mean smaller lineups for the Celtics and they are a little thin depth wise. Pritchard can give them minutes at the offensive end if he has regained confidence in his shot but he will still be hunted on the defensive end
  • Al is 35 and after his grat game 4 took a noticeable step back in the offense, so we may not see THAT Al again
Reasons for optimism. Fewer of these but they are more important.
  • Miami is lacking in depth. I like Max Strus just fine, we could use him on the Celtics now as a rotation player, but for all of that he just doesn't scare me. Some for Duncan Robinson even though he eviscerated the C's a couple of years ago. There's no one you really have to worry about after Butler, Herro, Adebayo, and if healthy Lowry
  • The Celtics defense is really freaking good and that is what wins playoff games
  • I haven't seen enough of Miami to know, but I think that despite their one seed, they might just not be at the same level of play as the Celtics. If the Celtics turnaround happens 2 weeks earlier it would be the Celtics in the one seed. I called it Celtics in 7, but Celtics in fewer would not surprise me.
Edit: Two more reasons for optimism:
  • With his play in game 6 and 7, especially, Tatum showed that he could step his game up to a new level to meet the moment. After his game 3 he could have been the goat if the team had lost, but he took over an elimination game that was slipping away from the Celtics and then played a great game 7.
  • The fact that that the team needed to step up with Tatum in foul trouble AND THEY DID STEP UP has to be a great morale boost heading on to the next round in games 6 and 7 the Celtics got both things you want to see from a championship-level NBA team: the star player taking the game into his own hands and winning it, and the rest of the team doing the same without the star.
Just re Butler: go back and watch his big games against Philly. It's him endlessly abusing Harden/Harris, or else attacking Embiid in drop coverage.

The Hawks are even worse.

It's a lot easier to look godly in those spots than it is against one of the best halfcourt defenses we've seen in the past few years, particularly one that can switch with size across the board.

Regardless of the series result, I am confident predicting that Butler's efficiency will nosedive.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,588
Only thing that worries me this series is 3 point shooting. That also means that Miami's role players will have to beat us. That makes me feel better about it.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
9,864
Toscana via Kyiv
Only thing that worries me this series is 3 point shooting. That also means that Miami's role players will have to beat us. That makes me feel better about it.
That's always a worry when playing Miami. The thing that makes me optimistic is that, unless you have Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic, and a few other guys, you need to get the defense rotating and helping to generate quality 3s.

The Heat don't have anyone who can consistently create advantages against defenders as good as Boston's, and Boston no longer has Kemba weak links to pick on.

It's going to get very, very grindy for Miami in the halfcourt, and my question is whether they can do the same to Boston on the other end.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
32,870
Hingham, MA
I went Celtics in 7.

Things that worry me in this series are:
  • Jimmy Butler has been other-worldly in the playoffs so far: 28.7/7.6/5.4. Shooting 53% from the field, getting 2.1 steals, and rarely turning the ball over.
  • Bam Adebayo is a great player and has been a legit Celtic killer. Marcus Smart is a fantastic defender of bigs for a 6'3" guard and he did some nice work guarding Freaking Giannis in the Bucks series. If you asked me which big always destroys Marcus, it is Bam.
  • Tyler Herro and (if he's back) Kyle Lowry because they like Bam have been Celtic killers.
  • The Celtics had to battle through a hard fought 7-game series and aren't getting so much as an extra rest day before the Heat series starts.
  • It is not at all clear how ready Rob really is to play - he may be a total nonfactor for the series. Even if he does come back, will he be physically limited and how much of his time will be spent shaking off rust
  • Miami runs smaller than the Bucks - and without Rob that may mean smaller lineups for the Celtics and they are a little thin depth wise. Pritchard can give them minutes at the offensive end if he has regained confidence in his shot but he will still be hunted on the defensive end
  • Al is 35 and after his grat game 4 took a noticeable step back in the offense, so we may not see THAT Al again
Reasons for optimism. Fewer of these but they are more important.
  • Miami is lacking in depth. I like Max Strus just fine, we could use him on the Celtics now as a rotation player, but for all of that he just doesn't scare me. Some for Duncan Robinson even though he eviscerated the C's a couple of years ago. There's no one you really have to worry about after Butler, Herro, Adebayo, and if healthy Lowry
  • The Celtics defense is really freaking good and that is what wins playoff games
  • I haven't seen enough of Miami to know, but I think that despite their one seed, they might just not be at the same level of play as the Celtics. If the Celtics turnaround happens 2 weeks earlier it would be the Celtics in the one seed. I called it Celtics in 7, but Celtics in fewer would not surprise me.
Edit: Two more reasons for optimism:
  • With his play in game 6 and 7, especially, Tatum showed that he could step his game up to a new level to meet the moment. After his game 3 he could have been the goat if the team had lost, but he took over an elimination game that was slipping away from the Celtics and then played a great game 7.
  • The fact that that the team needed to step up with Tatum in foul trouble AND THEY DID STEP UP has to be a great morale boost heading on to the next round in games 6 and 7 the Celtics got both things you want to see from a championship-level NBA team: the star player taking the game into his own hands and winning it, and the rest of the team doing the same without the star.
One other reason for optimism: the Celts have been road warriors. 4-1 on the road in the playoffs after playing great on the road the last few months of the regular season. They know they can go on the road and win games, even with their backs against the wall.

Game 1 will be a tall task given the short rest, but you have to like the Celts chances of splitting down in Miami in games 1-2.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,588
Game 1 will be a tall task given the short rest, but you have to like the Celts chances of splitting down in Miami in games 1-2.
No Lowry would help some. Dunno if that will be the case, but if it is, a lot of things are going right for the Celtics.
 

mikeot

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2006
7,785
Very possible. Our toughest game of the series will be on Tuesday night. If we can somehow win then the sweep is not off the table. I do expect us to lose that one but end it in no more than 6.
Agreed. The Bucks were a nightmare matchup with Giannis, their bigs at the rim and shooters. I’ve got us in 6, maybe even less. I’m in a poker room in FL right now and all everyone was talking about is how Miami gets to play Dallas and not Phoenix. Haven’t even heard the word “Boston” or “Celtics” all night. This is perfect!
I'm down with HRB! Timelord will return eventually to clamp it all down. C's in six, maybe five.
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
43,301
Hartford, CT
No Lowry would help some. Dunno if that will be the case, but if it is, a lot of things are going right for the Celtics.
And mitigating the impact of the short turnaround is their playing a mid afternoon rather than a night game yesterday, and playing Game 7 at home allows them to avoid a trip back to Boston preceding another trip to Miami. Every little bit helps.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
27,837
That's always a worry when playing Miami. The thing that makes me optimistic is that, unless you have Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic, and a few other guys, you need to get the defense rotating and helping to generate quality 3s.

The Heat don't have anyone who can consistently create advantages against defenders as good as Boston's, and Boston no longer has Kemba weak links to pick on.

It's going to get very, very grindy for Miami in the halfcourt, and my question is whether they can do the same to Boston on the other end.
Bam can be a mismatch.

As someone noted, MIA will be the best team BOS has faced. Their non-stars IMO are much better than BRK and MIL. Plus, MIA did beat BOS during BOS's second half run, even though that was the first game w/o TL and BOS imploded down the stretch.

I think this one goes 7 too but BOS shows its mettle by winning G7 on the road.
 

ManicCompression

Member
SoSH Member
May 14, 2015
829
I picked Celtics in 5. Miami is good, but they've not played the same level of opponent as the Celtics have so far in these playoffs, particularly on defense. Atlanta and Philly w/o Embiid (and then a hobbled Embiid) aren't capable of stopping anyone while Boston has one of the best defenses since the 2004 Pistons. It will be harder for Miami to score on Boston than it will for Boston to score on Miami.

Boston - for the first time these playoffs - has the best player in the series. They've felled Durant and Giannis, and Butler is not nearly as dynamic as either of them (and his shooting can disappear big time). Plus, Boston can get to a lineup of five two-way players easier than Miami can. Oh, and also, Miami fans suck. Cs lose one in Miami but win the rest on their way to the finals.
 
Last edited:

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
26,807
One other reason for optimism: the Celts have been road warriors. 4-1 on the road in the playoffs after playing great on the road the last few months of the regular season. They know they can go on the road and win games, even with their backs against the wall.

Game 1 will be a tall task given the short rest, but you have to like the Celts chances of splitting down in Miami in games 1-2.
I'm actually glad Game 1 is in Miami. First, the Celtics have already shown they can win on the road. Second, I think there's a bit less pressure/anxiety/nerves/being over-amped this way. They'd probably prove me wrong, but I'd be a little worried that their first half dozen 3pt shots in a Game 1 at home right now would shatter the backboard.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
44,331
I'm actually glad Game 1 is in Miami. First, the Celtics have already shown they can win on the road. Second, I think there's a bit less pressure/anxiety/nerves/being over-amped this way. They'd probably prove me wrong, but I'd be a little worried that their first half dozen 3pt shots in a Game 1 at home right now would shatter the backboard.
And Miami is probably the least hostile road environment in the league. Their fans are weak. Celtics should be able to settle in but we’ll see if the legs are there.
 

wiffleballhero

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 28, 2009
3,968
In the simulacrum
And mitigating the impact of the short turnaround is their playing a mid afternoon rather than a night game yesterday, and playing Game 7 at home allows them to avoid a trip back to Boston preceding another trip to Miami. Every little bit helps.
As it worked out, the Celtics also ended up with a pretty good distribution of minutes in game 7. Nobody played 40 minutes.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
9,864
Toscana via Kyiv
Bam can be a mismatch.
...
I'm going to push back on this--by "mismatch", I mean "forces help/significant attention when he gets the ball". Bam Adebayo is an extremely good basketball player, but he's not that. The Celtics can mostly defend him straight up with current personnel, particularly relative to someone like Giannis or Durant or Kyrie.

Again, people really have PTSD from when he was running P&R against Kemba, with Theis as the C's best center, and Jaylen/Jayson being significantly weaker/younger.

EDIT: don't take my word for it; watch the below, and ask yourself how much of that will be available vs Boston:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55Npsec7qT8
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
48,032
I think concerns about Al’s offense and having his legs under him are overblown. After his game 4 explosion the Bucks made a concerted effort not to allow him the same level of open looks from deep.

And his defense remained great.
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
37,281
Here
For me, this is where the health of Robert Williams is determinative. If he's healthy, Celtics in 6. If he's not, Heat in 7. Forever the optimist, I'll go with the former.
 

Eddie Jurak

canderson-lite
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
40,113
Melrose, MA
What is the defensive approach given that Miami has better outside shooting? Do you try to cover Butler singly and without help and let him get his 40 to avoid him setting up shooters?
 

ehaz

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 30, 2007
4,350
If Timelord is back, healthy, and not tooo rusty, this could be a quick series. This is a much better match-up for him than the Bucks series. He can play off PJ Tucker in his help defender role and really make things difficult for Jimmy, Bam, etc.
 

ManicCompression

Member
SoSH Member
May 14, 2015
829
I'm going to push back on this--by "mismatch", I mean "forces help/significant attention when he gets the ball". Bam Adebayo is an extremely good basketball player, but he's not that. The Celtics can mostly defend him straight up with current personnel, particularly relative to someone like Giannis or Durant or Kyrie.
I'm with you - he's doing most of that damage in that video against Deandre Jordan and Paul Reed. Even when the Cs put Theis onto him, he won't have it that easy. He's scarier as a passer than a scorer to me and the other Cs defenders are typically so locked in that he won't have many opportunities to thread these open cuts to the basket.

It feels incredible to say on a Cs message board, but I think some are underrating just how good this defense is. Not just at its peak - Boston is so consistent and there's nothing to exploit. You see it in these games where it's death by a thousand paper cuts. The other team can only make tough shots so many times in the course of a game/series.
 

HowBoutDemSox

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 12, 2009
9,451
Good series preview article from KOC:
https://www.theringer.com/2022/5/16/23074730/celtics-heat-eastern-conference-finals-preview
This stat is a small sample size cherry picked number, but it’s astounding:
When Tatum and Al Horford have defended a pick-and-roll this postseason, they’re allowing a microscopic 0.25 points per play. That’s an outlier number that ranks first out of the 95 combinations who’ve defended at least 25 pick-and-rolls during the playoffs, according to Second Spectrum. If we include the past five postseasons, it’d still rank first.
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
For the first time this series, the Celts can plan to just man up on defense and switch everything, basically playing to their strengths. When they did this against MIL, GA got his, but the rest of their team pretty much had zilch. I don't see anyone on MIA who is in GA's league.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
44,331
This has to be a Jaylen series. If Butler is occupying Tatum, Jaylen should be able to feast on whichever wing he’s matched up against. Having Horford to draw Bam away from the paint will be very helpful as well.