Eastern Conference preview: How the Celtics and Heat match up

Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (22) celebrates after a dunk in the second half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler (22) celebrates after a dunk in the second half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
<figcaption class="C($c-fuji-grey-h) Fz(13px) Py(5px) Lh(1.5)" title="Heat guard Jimmy Butler celebrates after a dunk against the Bucks on Sept. 4.  (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)” data-reactid=”18″>

Heat guard Jimmy Butler celebrates after a dunk against the Bucks on Sept. 4.  (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will meet in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday.” data-reactid=”23″>The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will meet in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday.

Here’s how the teams match up:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="No. 3 BOSTON ” data-reactid=”25″>No. 3 BOSTON

(postseason offensive rating, 110.2; postseason defensive rating, 101.9)  

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="No. 5 MIAMI &nbsp;” data-reactid=”31″>No. 5 MIAMI  

(postseason offensive rating, 112.9; postseason defensive rating, 105.4)  

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Season Series: Boston 2-1 &nbsp;” data-reactid=”33″>Season Series: Boston 2-1  

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Outlook: The Heat made quick work of the Milwaukee Bucks while it took Boston seven games to send the defending champion Toronto Raptors home. Miami is led by guard Jimmy Butler, the rare star who doesn’t need to score to put a huge imprint on the game. Alongside center Bam Adebayo and rejuvenated guard Goran Dragic, the Heat have a lot of firepower and balance. The Celtics have that same kind of balance. Wings Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are two of the best young players in the league, and veteran guard Kemba Walker is a threat. Forward Gordon Hayward is expected to return at some point in the series from an ankle injury. Both teams are deep and the series has the potential to be great. &nbsp;” data-reactid=”34″>Outlook: The Heat made quick work of the Milwaukee Bucks while it took Boston seven games to send the defending champion Toronto Raptors home. Miami is led by guard Jimmy Butler, the rare star who doesn’t need to score to put a huge imprint on the game. Alongside center Bam Adebayo and rejuvenated guard Goran Dragic, the Heat have a lot of firepower and balance. The Celtics have that same kind of balance. Wings Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are two of the best young players in the league, and veteran guard Kemba Walker is a threat. Forward Gordon Hayward is expected to return at some point in the series from an ankle injury. Both teams are deep and the series has the potential to be great.  

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Prediction: Celtics in 7 &nbsp;” data-reactid=”35″>Prediction: Celtics in 7  

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="SCHEDULE” data-reactid=”36″>SCHEDULE

Gm 1 Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., ESPN  

Gm 2 Thursday, 4 p.m., TNT  

Gm 3 Saturday, 5:30 p.m., TNT  

Gm 4 TBD  

Gm 5 TBD*  

Gm 6 TBD*  

Gm 7 TBD*  

* if necessary

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