The last time we saw this matchup was back in the year 2012, when we were witnessing the power of the Big 3 of the Miami Heat with Lebron James, D-wade, and Chris Bosh against the Big 3 of the Boston Celtics with Rondo, Pierce, and Garnett. I think we can all agree that that was one of the most intense and entertaining series in NBA history. This current series may not be as intense as that legendary series, but definitely believe it has the potential to be a series to remember.
As for the winner of the series, we believe it will be the same franchise that won the last matchup, the Miami Heat. It really comes down to many different elements of the game for the Miami Heat. For one thing, while Boston is a team that likes to think about strategy and carefully selecting who should be on the floor when, Miami has a more aggressive attitude. No matter who is on the floor for the Heat, they all have the mindset of doing what they can to get to the basket or score, whether that’s working together to get the ball to the right teammate or powering through bodies to score or draw fouls. Another part of this is the fact that Miami has a strength in a key position that Toronto lacks, the center position. While Daniel Theis was very active and was able to get hot at the 3-point line and get various blocks, Kanter lacked a consistent shot resulting in minimal scoring and was often a liability on defense as he was often too slow to affect any kind of shot. Meanwhile with Miami, they have two young centers in Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk that are always active and willing to fight to get the next rebound and be a force on the defensive end. Bam is always a force in the paint leading to his success at averaging a double-double per game and Olynyk is a threat that can come off the bench and grab key rebounds and has the potential to get red hot from the 3-point line. Another key strength that Miami has over Boston is 3-point shooting. While Boston has many key three-point shooters like Tatum, Smart, and Wanamaker, they are way more consistent with the mid-range or regular jump shot. However, with Miami, they are able to get hot from three in a very fast manner. They have many players that have more reliable three-point shots such as Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn, and even center Kelly Olynyk along with other bench players can get hot in an instant.
One player that can get hot from any point on the floor is Jimmy Butler who will be facing off against Jayson Tatum on the Celtics. Both players will be going toe to toe throughout the series, but Butler has the edge and will always be one step ahead of his opponent in even the toughest of matchups.
Another strength that Miami has as an opponent is a high free throw percentage. Almost all of the players that see consistent time on the floor for Miami have an eighty percent free throw percentage or higher while players who see consistent floor time for Boston have a wide range of free throws. One of the final advantages Miami has is the amount of rest time. While teams do not have to worry about travel in regard to the playoffs, the time between series definitely has an effect on the teams. Miami has had nearly a week of rest since defeating Milwaukee Bucks in their series, while Boston has only had about three days of rest since their game seven against Toronto. The Celtics may prove us wrong and come out on top, but the Miami Heat will have a step ahead of them in at least game 1 considering they have had twice the amount of rest time. In conclusion, Miami is winning the series in six games. While Miami has a stronger and more efficient team, it is hard to deny that Boston has the star power to win at least one or two games.