3 keys for the Celtics in order to go back to NBA Finals

Celtics - The official site of the NBA for the latest NBA Scores, Stats &  News. | NBA.com

I know I said it in an earlier article during the regular season, and I still sit by that the Miami Heat aren’t the same threat they were last year. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t pose a threat at all.

And now for the Celtics, they find themselves in the same spot as last year, facing them in the Eastern Conference Finals for a chance to go back to the NBA Finals. A few things have changed since the last time the two faced each other in the playoffs: no Tyler Herro, no Victor Oladipo, and the C’s have a way better bench.

Nonetheless, the C’s are the favorites, but the Heat are in this position for a reason. Game 1 is tonight, and here’s the key things the Celtics need to do in order to win this series.

Make 3s

Why can't the Celtics shoot? Shooting guru Dave Hopla has thoughts.

Shooting a crazy amount of three-point shots have become the Celtics identity now. They are no longer the defensive minded team that former coach Ime Udoka had them being. Now Joe Mazzulla is encouraging his guys to put up shots at a high volume. But unlike the series with the Sixers, the C’s style of play works more in their favor.

Last round the C’s had to worry about Tyrese Maxey and his speed as James Harden was also a big threat in the open court. With the Miami Heat, they have veterans, and they don’t play fast at all. Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kevin Love are all scorers that get points off of set plays and deep into the shot clock. That makes the C’s up-and-down plus high shooting tough to defend for 48 minutes.

But of course, the C’s are going to have to make their shots. And of course with that comes off-nights, but hopefully they find their groove early into games.

Jump out to a fast start

2022 NBA Finals: Celtics drop epic hype video ahead of Game 1 vs. Warriors  - NBC Sports Boston

It’s no secret of how good Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry is in the closing moments of a game. Butler’s strength and will to get to the free throw line and control the pace of the game is some special to watch. He can dictate the game by posting up, driving to the basket, and just giving his team second chances. That’s why it’s important for the Celtics to get out to a fast start, so they go into the fourth quarter with a double digit lead.

Jayson Tatum is the closer for the Celtics, and nobody in Boston feels weary about that, especially after is 51-point game 7 appearance against Philly. The Heat know how to play from behind, but if the Celtics are always playing from ahead, then it wares down on the Miami veterans over the course of the series. They may make one or two games where they can pull a comeback win, but that’ll be too much on their body in game 6 and 7.

Celtics bench is everything

Malcolm Brogdon said Celtics have best bench in NBA: 'We've got to embrace  that' - masslive.com

I can go all day about Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, even Marcus Smart being a playoff veteran. But the real difference between this series and last years is the Celtics depth. Due to injury, the Miami bench isn’t that deep. Duncan Robinson may have one game where he does ok, but that’s it. As for the C’s, forget about it.

Celtics literally have the Sixth Man of the Year in Malcolm Brogdon. He’s averaged close to 15 points a game in the regular season. And then if Derrick White comes off the bench and doesn’t start, that’s an added bonus. Even Danilo Gallinari might suit up for the first time this season since suffering a knee injury during the offseason. The bench will be the biggest X-factor in terms of extending the lead.

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