Miami Heat’s defense will be tested going against Jayson Tatum who is coming off a 51-point performance, setting an NBA Game 7 scoring record and setting up their win over Philadelphia on Sunday. Jalen Brunson scored 41 points despite various defensive looks employed against him on Friday; Miami found its salvation from their scoring helplessness by the other Knicks.
TGT Podcast: NBA Playoffs Betting Preview Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics – The Grueling Truth The Grueling Truth Radio
Might Boston Revert to Their Starting Lineup? Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla had an inspired idea before Game 6 against the Sixers by starting big man Robert Williams III alongside Al Horford rather than spacing out their use over time. It worked last spring and again against Philadelphia, while against Miami they might benefit more by returning to Derrick White starting alongside Tatum, Brown, Horford and Marcus Smart instead of Robert Williams III in tandem with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo Max Strus and Gabe Vincent instead of using Caleb Martin instead as Kevin Love.
Mazzulla, 34, was expected to have some difficulty competing against Sixers coach Doc Rivers – widely considered one of the league’s premier mentors – during his initial year on the job. Now he faces one of its premier teachers: Spoelstra’s teams frequently exceed and often surpass expectations during series and game adjustments and comeback efforts from Play-In Tournament status; few outside Miami’s film room expected them to reach this round while anything less than reaching the Finals would be seen as disappointing for Boston.
I expect the Celtics depth and Tatum to be the reason the Celtics will advance to another NBA Finals, but it wont be easy as the Heat are a battle-tested group and could easily take this series deep. The Celtics will have to be at their best to win this series and I expect they will be. Celtics take this series in six games.
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