The Miami Heat advanced to the Eastern Conference finals after defeating the Philadelphia 76ers 99-90.
The Milwaukee Bucks or the Boston Celtics will be their opponents. The Heat have seen both of these clubs in their recent playoff games.
During their participation in the NBA Finals in 2020, they defeated both teams. The Bucks swept them last year and went on to win the title. Both teams are acquainted with the Heat.
Which team will be Miami’s better matchup?
Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks’ two-time MVP, is widely regarded as the finest player in the world. They also have Jrue Holiday and Wesley Matthews on defense. And guys like Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis, who are more extensive. Pat Connaughton, their shooting guard, has also been outstanding for them in the playoffs, averaging 9.8 points per game. The Bucks are without All-Star Khris Middleton, whose injury status for the rest of the playoffs is still unknown.
All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown lead the Celtics. They also feature a revived Al Horford and Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart. Derrick White, Robert Williams III, and Daniel Theis are all role players for Boston.
When comparing these two squads, the Miami Heat should go with Boston.
Against Miami’s top defender Bam Adeabyo, Antetokounmpo has averaged 21.1 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists.
Against Antetokounmpo, Adebayo has averaged 11.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. Adebayo’s plus-minus average is -3.3.
In 2021, Jimmy Butler had probably his poorest playoff series against the Bucks. Shooting 29.7% from the floor and scoring just 14.5 points per game.
While the Celtics have had more success versus Miami in the regular season than the Bucks. Milwaukee seems to be the more dangerous club. Despite the loss of their second-best player, they are doing well. Antetokounmpo is a physical presence in the paint which is almost unstoppable. His game is similar to Joel Embiid’s. Who caused difficulties for Miami after his comeback. Adebayo has also fared better against Tatum. who has averaged 20.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists against him.
Finally, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has three playoff victories against the Celtics.
Heat supporters should root for Boston to reach the conference finals with all of this in mind.