Miami Heat Roundtable: Predicting ECF Results, Games Played, And MVP

Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts to referee Sean Wright #4 during the fourth quarter of the game between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics(Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts to referee Sean Wright #4 during the fourth quarter of the game between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics(Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /
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Miami Heat
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) makes a three point basket in front of Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

Miami Heat: Predicting ECF Results, Games Played, And MVP – Max’s Take

The Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat.

Max’s Take (@maxmarshall136)

So, Miami finally has an opponent after resting the past couple of days due to defeating the Philadelphia 76ers in six games.

Miami vs Boston is going to be a tough series. It’s going to be chippy at times and include a lot of flopping.

This is an Eastern Conference rematch from the bubble as well. Both teams have surprised a lot of people this year.

Boston struggled the first half of the year and looked like a first-round exit but in credit to everyone involved, they changed their season around in the second half of the year.

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Everyone knows how the national media is towards Miami. You know they’re still not giving Miami any credit, even though they are in the ECF.

But, if Miami fans are honest, you wouldn’t want it any other way. This is going to be a very interesting series with a lot of storylines.

Miami defeated Boston back in 2020, so it’s still fairly new. Both teams have made roster tweaks and even coaching changes from Boston.

If you like defense, then this is the series for you, as both teams are elite defenses. It will be hard to score in this round.

Miami will have to contain Jayson Tatum, who has made another leap in his game this season. Another name you’d like Miami to keep an eye on, especially from the corner, is Jaylen Brown.

Is it just me or does it feel that the last time Boston and Miami played in the playoffs, Brown wouldn’t miss from the corner? If you’re Miami, you want the ball in Marcus Smarts’ hands.

Smart has been better than presumed playing point guard but in the postseason, Smart has the tendency to take over the game in a negative way. Miami should let Smart think he’s the best player on the team.

Another thing to be noticed about Boston’s ball handlers is that they like to take their time bringing up the ball. Miami needs to pressure ball handlers to get that eight count.

Miami has two x-factors in Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson. With Lowry still nursing his hamstring, it will be interesting to see if he comes back in this series.

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In the last series, he wasn’t ready to come back yet and played anyway, which is a credit to him. Miami definitely needs him back on the court for this one, but you need him to have, somewhat, of an impact.

In Robinson, we know that he’s had an up and down year and the same goes for his postseason thus far. Robinson, against Boston two years ago, was really impactful for Miami.

If Robinson plays and can stay out of foul trouble, there is a game that Robinson can swing. Duncan should stay ready for his name to be called in this series.

There are two things that concern me. Miami does struggle in the halfcourt at times and with Boston having a really good defense, it could cause Miami problems.

Miami has to be crisp in the halfcourt. The last time around, Bam Adebayo went to work against Boston bigs.

I am going to be interested in Adebayo against Boston’s bigs this time around though, especially with Robert Willams not being consistently in with knee soreness. It’s likely that Adebayo will be defended by Al Horford, who has been playing very well this year and especially in the playoffs.

Adebayo needs to win that matchup though and that’s pretty simple.

Tyler Herro hasn’t had the postseason that many thought he would have but this is a great time to start looking like the Sixth Man Of The Year again. Miami will need Herro to score at all three levels.

You’d like to see Herro attack the rim to get to his floater. Once he can see the ball go in a couple of times, then he should do what he does as well as any other part of his game this year—let it fly from three.

Will Boston double Herro like Philadelphia did in the last series or will they double Jimmy Butler, who has been the best player in the playoffs? That’s a good question, but either way, you should have all the faith in the world in Butler right now.

After the playoffs that he’s had, it’s hard not to. Also, homecourt advantage will matter.

Prediction: Miami wins 4-3. Jimmy Butler wins Conference Finals MVP.