Featured Image Credits:

Sports Illustrated
Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

A war is brewing in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, and it lies between the Northeast and South Beach. The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics meet again in the Eastern Conference Finals, a matchup that has been highly anticipated throughout the season.

The Heat will host the Celtics at home the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, for they have the best record in the East with the No. 1 seed. They will have to take advantage of home court as much as they can against a fully reloaded Celtics team, who has been one of the favorites to win the 2022 NBA title.

Miami and Boston are no strangers to one another; the Heat have won the last three meetings with the Celtics in the playoffs including their 2020 NBA Finals appearance.

Christmas comes early for the NBA; the Heat and Celtics have one of the most fully depth roasters in all of the league. Some of the players coming off the bench on either team could start on several NBA franchises.

Celtics great Paul Pierce tweeted during Game 6 of the Boston-Milwaukee series about Jayson Tatum’s heroic performance and reminded him about his personal accolades in the playoffs. Paul Pierce scored 41 points, which lead the Celtics to the Conference Finals back in 2008, but he got his fate when LeBron James joined the Heat not long after.

Paul Pierce praises Jayson Tatum through reminiscing his own playoff accomplishments

LeBron James and Paul Pierce continued to meet face to face in the playoffs which commenced the Miami-Boston decade long rivalry in 2012.

James overwhelmed the Celtics with one of the greatest performances of his professional basketball career in the playoffs with 45 points, and 15 rebounds while on the road in Boston. It was a make it break year for LeBron; the entire world was riding on his shoulders to see if he could finally win an NBA championship, in which he did that year.

That day in Game 6 in the East Finals, LeBron James told the basketball world, “watch this”. James had a distinct, memorable glaring expression like he was ALL business, and that was that.

LeBron James’ fully focused look just moments before tip off in Game 6, the game that arguably saved his legacy.

The Celtics and Heat are coming off hot from their blow out wins in the finals games if the Semifinals. Miami took care of Philadelphia in Game 6, and Boston won handily against the defending champions against Milwaukee in Game 7.

NBA critics are already saying that Miami will need to be perfect in order to defeat Boston, who is playing at an extremely high level.

If your a Miami fan like I am, the one team you don’t want to see them play in the playoffs is Boston. The Celtics are just as deep as the Heat, especially without the services of veteran guard, Kyle Lowry, who remains unlikely to play due to injury.

Boston, as well as the Heat, are a phenomenal defensive team, and very physical. Miami is not going have some of the easy looks they had in the first two rounds of the playoffs against the Celtics.

Miami ranks third in defensive efficiency, while Boston ranks fifth, as well as their offense. So just on paper, the Celtics are a very back es team.

The Heat, however, have a clear advantage against the Celtics however with their bench. Miami has had one of the deepest rosters in recent history with Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent lighting it up from downtown, while Victor Oladipo and Caleb Martin are lockdown defenders and capable scorers.

Tyler Herro leads Miami over depleted 76ers in Game 1 victory. USA TODAY / VIA REUTERS

Miami’s versatility has given Eric Spoelstra the confidence to put together any kind of lineup he wants on the court. It will be interesting to see how Spoelstra will tweak his lineup during the series against Boston.

These two teams have been some of the best of the best in all of the NBA, and now fans get to see the rivalry continue Tuesday, 8:30 p.m., ET.

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