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2022 EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS GAME 1 PREVIEW: Heat seek series-opening victory over Celtics

It’s game day!!

Boston Celtics Vs Miami Heat Photo by Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

The Miami Heat will host the Boston Celtics for Game 1 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN.

The Celtics knocked off the reigning-champion Milwaukee Bucks in seven games, capped-off by a demonstrative 109-81 victory Sunday; Boston outscored Milwaukee by 54 points from 3-point range — hitting 22 3s (on 55 attempts) to Milwaukee’s four (on 33 attempts....yikes) — and 34 points over the final three quarters.

Grant Williams tied Stephen Curry and Marcus Morris for the most 3-pointers in a Game 7 all-time with seven, finishing with 27 points on 7-of-18 from distance with six boards; Jayson Tatum tallied 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor, including 5-of-9 from deep, adding six boards, eight dimes and one block.

The Heat, meanwhile, clinched their second East Finals berth in three seasons Thursday over the Philadelphia 76ers. Jimmy Butler (read more about him more here!) tallied a game-high 32 points, eight rebounds, four assists, one steal and a pair of blocks in the series-clinching nine-point victory.

Butler averaged 27.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.7 steals on 51.3/32.1/81.8 shooting splits in the six games against his former team — loudly asking the rhetorical question, “Tobias Harris over me?” after the game.

Boston and Miami were two of the league’s top defenses during the regular season, finishing No. 1 and No. 4 in the NBA in defensive efficiency, respectively. They’ve also been two of the three best defenses in non-garbage-time this postseason, per Cleaning The Glass.

The key to this series will likely be who generates more sustainable offense, as both teams are going to be physical, scrappy and relentless on both ends of the court. There might also be lots of flopping/falling, too, so be aware!

INACTIVE/INJURIES:

MIAMI:

  • Kyle Lowry (hamstring) - OUT
  • Caleb Martin (ankle sprain) - QUESTIONABLE
  • Max Strus (hamstring strain) - QUESTIONABLE
  • P.J. Tucker (calf strain) - QUESTIONABLE
  • Gabe Vincent (hamstring strain) - QUESTIONABLE

BOSTON:

  • Sam Hauser (right shoulder instability episode) - OUT
  • Marcus Smart (right mid-foot sprain) - QUESTIONABLE

SERIES SCHEDULE:

Heat-Celtics ECF Schedule:

GAME DATE MATCHUP TIME TV
GAME DATE MATCHUP TIME TV
Game 1 Tuesday, May 17 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 2 Thursday, May 19 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 3 Saturday, May 21 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ABC
Game 4 Monday, May 23 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ABC
Game 5* Wednesday, May 25 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 6* Friday, May 27 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 7* Sunday, May 29 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN

Projected Starters

Celtics Position Heat
Celtics Position Heat
Marcus Smart PG Gabe Vincent
Jaylen Brown SG Max Strus
Jayson Tatum SF Jimmy Butler
Al Horford PF PJ Tucker
Robert Williams III C Bam Adebayo

ODDS:

  • Heat -1.5 (-110)
  • Total: 204
  • Moneyline: Celtics +105, Heat -125

OTHER FUN PROPS, AMONG SEVERAL OTHERS, TO POTENTIALLY BET:

  • P.J. Tucker first basket: Yes (+1100)
  • Heat -1.5/Under parlay (+260)
  • Butler and Tucker with 2+ made 3-pointers each (+550)
  • Adebayo double-double (+140)
  • Herro over 17.5 points + assists: -120

BROADCAST INFO:

TIME: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN

RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson, Ruth Riley Hunter)

SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!

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