The regular season is over and now the No. 2 seeded Boston Celtics wait to see how the play-in tournament ends for the remaining teams. And right now it’s looking like the (44-38) Miami Heat will be their first-round foe.
Of course Miami still has to get past Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks, but result almost seems certain. And I know some C’s fans are already getting ready for a doozy of a series, but no need to worry.
The Miami Heat aren’t who they used to be. Yes, they have given the C’s hell for the past couple of years including last easter conference finals matchup where it went to seven games and a final heave from Jimmy Butler that barely missed. And then there’s the bubble season where they were eliminated in the conference finals.
But today is a new day.
The Celtics win over the Heat last year was almost a torch send off for the C’s. Kyle Lowry is a shell of himself and Jimmy Butler has been battling injuries all season. Sure, Butler can still get the free throw line and slow the game down, but it’s not as effective as was before.
Don’t get me started on Duncan Robinson. The once sharpshooter from New England is now on the bench and nowhere to be found. Victor Oladipo turned down a big contract to end up in Miami averaging 10 points a night.
Honestly, Tyler Herro is the only bright spot in the back court Miami has left as he’s averaging 20 points a night. But the former Kentucky Wildcat will have problems keeping up with the stacked back court of todays Celtics. Malcolm Brogdon has changed a lot of holes the C’s once had.
Bam Adebayo is averaging close to a double-double with 20 points and 9 rebounds on 54% shooting from the field. The guy is lethal and efficient no doubt. But with Al Horford and Robert Williams playing and seeming to be healthy, they can slow him down. Sure, Bam is going to have some good nights, but it’s not going to be on a consistent basis.
The trio the Heat has is Butler, Adebayo, and Herro, but the C’s have an answer for each and every one of them now. Jayson Tatum has played at an MVP level, Marcus Smart is still a top defender, and now Malcolm Brogdon is coming off the bench to give 20 any night he chooses.
I expect the series to go five games, six games max.