clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS GAME 7 PREVIEW: Heat host Celtics with NBA Finals berth on the line

The time is now, tonight’s winner faces the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics tonight at 8:30pm EST in the FTX Arena for the decisive Game 7 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals. Tonight’s winning team will be the Eastern Conference Champions and will face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Boston may be 5-0 after a loss this postseason, but the Heat showed their incredible resiliency on the road in Game 6 when just about everyone counted them out after ugly losses in Games 4 and 5. Both teams have won twice on the road in this series, but home-court advantage is nonetheless huge in a winner-takes-all Game 7. According to ESPN, “road teams are 34-110 all-time — a winning percentage of .236 — in Game 7s.”

Miami’s injury report reads the same as it did in the previous game, but with the exception of Tyler Herro — who still remains definitively “questionable” for tonight after missing three straight games but will warm up with the intention to play — all the players who participated in Game 6 are expected to play. The status of Herro will be the biggest question mark heading into the game, with Boston also listing Robert Williams and Marcus Smart as questionable as they have been for the last few games in which they ended up playing.

After six games, both teams have proven to be evenly matched, evenly TALENTED (despite the overall consensus among basketball experts) and also prone to committing unforced and/or careless turnovers and offensive droughts through extended periods of time. Can the Heat truly unleash the NBA’s #1 ranked 3-point shooting they displayed during the regular season? Can Jimmy Butler somehow remain in top form after his already-legendary 47-point, nine-rebound, eight-assist, four-steal performance in Game 6? Will Jaylen Brown or first-team All-NBA selection Jaysum Tatum step up and lead their team to a tough road victory or will an X-factor like Duncan Robinson or Victor Oladipo prove to be the difference maker?

Keep an eye on Miami’s bench tonight. The team was fined by the NBA $25,000 yesterday for “violating league rules regarding team bench decorum” during Game 6 at the TD Garden.

On multiple occasions, several players stood for an extended period in Miami’s team bench area, stood away from the team bench, and were on, encroaching upon or entering the playing court during live game action in the Heat’s 111-103 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 27 at TD Garden.

This is the second Game 7 between these historic playoff rivals, with Miami defeating Boston 101-88 in 2012 to win the Eastern Conference Finals.

INACTIVE/INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Tyler Herro: questionable (groin)
  • Max Strus: questionable (hamstring)
  • PJ Tucker: questionable (knee)
  • Kyle Lowry: questionable (hamstring)
  • Gabe Vincent: questionable (knee)

BOSTON:

  • Marcus Smart: questionable (ankle)
  • Robert Williams III: questionable (knee)
  • Sam Hauser: out (shoulder)

LINEUPS

Projected Starters

Celtics Position Heat
Celtics Position Heat
Marcus Smart PG Kyle Lowry
Derrick White SG Tyler Herro
Jaylen Brown SF Max Strus
Jayson Tatum PF Caleb Martin
Al Horford C Bam Adebayo

ODDS (via DraftKings)

The latest odds can be found at DraftKings. The perpetually underdog (#1 seeded) Heat are a +2.5 (-110) on the spread and the game is a 195.5 over/under the line. It’s easy to place bets on DraftKings, click the link at the bottom to get started!

BROADCAST INFO

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!

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.