As the Miami Heat prepare to face off with the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, who’s their most important player in this series?
The Miami Heat will take on the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, as they continue their quest to bring another title to South Beach. As they prepare for Game One, slated for Tuesday evening, who’s the key player in this matchup?
Jimmy Butler’s engaged and in playoff form, the Heat’s shooters are stroking it from deep, and Miami’s taking care of business on both ends of the ball. So it should serve as little surprise that big man Bam Adebayo very well may determine the outcome of this series.
For years, the center position has plagued the Celtics’ endeavors. They’ve long been tied to ll-Star bigs like Marc Gasol or Anthony Davis in trade rumors, but “Dealing” Danny Ainge has never pulled the trigger to bring even just an above-average big to Boston.
This year, the Celtics are rolling out Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter at the five. While their both quality centers, they don’t come close in terms of talent to what Miami has in Adebayo. The 23-year old has emerged as an All-Star and most versatile big men in the game.
Adebayo’s defense against Giannis Antetokounmpo was key in the Heat’s series win over the Milwaukee Bucks. He was notably named to the NBA’s All-Defensive 2nd Team during the series, after averaging 1.3 blocks and 1.1 steals per game in the regular season.
But in this series against the Celtics, it’s his offense that Miami will rely on. Boston put on a defensive masterclass in their Game 7 win over the Toronto Raptors, from guard to center.
With the emphasis of their defense coming at the wing position, Adebayo is primed for an offensive showcase. He saw success against the Bucks on that end as well, providing optimism that he can ride this momentum in the series against Boston.
If All-Star big Bam Adebayo can get going on the offensive end of the ball, while limiting the already offensively-limited Boston Celtics big men, this series should see the Miami Heat emerge as the victors, and advance on to compete for a title in this year’s Finals.
The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics will start the series that determines the Eastern Conference’s representation in the NBA Finals on Tuesday. Tip-off will be determined once the series between the LA Clippers and Denver Nuggets comes to a close.