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2022 EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS GAME 2 PREVIEW: Heat seek 2-0 series lead against Celtics

Injuries remain a huge factor, while Miami looks to stay undefeated at home in the playoffs.

2022 NBA Playoffs - Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

The host Miami Heat take on the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals at FTX Arena on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN.

Kyle Lowry remains out with a bothersome hamstring injury, his eighth missed game so far in the playoffs and fourth consecutive. Max Strus and Gabe Vincent appeared on the injury list with hamstring issues of their own, but are expected to play.

For Boston, it looks increasingly likely that starting point guard Marcus Smart will be ready to go in time for Game 2 after missing out the first game with a mid-foot sprain. The same can’t be said for big man Al Horford who remains out due to the league’s health and safety protocols. Derrick White — who started for Boston in Game 1 and finished with 3 points, 4 assists and 4 fouls in 29 minutes — left the team early due to the impending birth of his child and will not play in Game 2.

There’s a chance that other members of the Celtics roster and staff could soon be sidelined due to COVID, with coach Ime Udoka unable to meet with media yesterday for what the team described as a “non-COVID illness”, but so far Horford is the only Celtics player to enter protocols. Robert Williams III appears to be okay after suffering what he termed as cramps in his right leg late in Game 1.

The Celtics may be 3-0 after losing a playoff game but the Heat are 7-0 at the FTX Arena this postseason. They will try anything and everything to limit Jimmy Butler, who is averaging a ridiculous 29.8 points on 53.5% shooting, 7.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.3 steals in this year’s playoffs so Miami’s shooters must make them pay if they keep their focus too much on Butler.

After looking like the best player in this series in the first half of Game 1 but subsequently disappearing in the third quarter after racking up more turnovers than points, Jayson Tatum will look to have a bounce back game — as will Jaylen Brown, who scored 24 points but most of his production came late when the game was largely out of reach. Will the Heat and their coaching staff make the proper adjustments as they did at halftime in Game 1? As they did against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks in the first round, Miami may look to try limit their opponent’s star player as much as possible and live with whatever contributions the rest of the supporting cast provides.

INACTIVE/INJURIES:

MIAMI:

  • Kyle Lowry (hamstring) - OUT
  • Max Strus (hamstring strain) - DAY-TO-DAY/PROBABLE
  • Gabe Vincent (hamstring strain) - DAY-TO-DAY/PROBABLE

BOSTON:

  • Sam Hauser (right shoulder instability episode) - OUT
  • Marcus Smart (right mid-foot sprain) - DAY-TO-DAY/PROBABLE
  • Al Horford (health and safety protocols) - OUT
  • Derrick White (personal reasons) - OUT

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 -3.5 (-110), Celtics +3.5 (-110)
  • Total: 207.5
  • Moneyline: Celtics +140, Heat -160

BROADCAST INFO:

TIME: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN, NBA League Pass

RADIO: WAXY/WRTO & 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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