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3 Keys To Victory as Heat look to defeat Celtics in ECF

Heat Celtics Basketball
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 30, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

What an amazing time to be a South Florida sports fan!

The Miami Dolphins are close to wrapping up arguably their best offseason in team history.

The Panthers just captured their first playoff win in 26 years and will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the NHL playoffs, tomorrow!

And speaking of tomorrow, the Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals!

Can it honestly get better than that?

Of course it can.

The further our beloved teams go, the happier we’ll be.

After Boston defeated the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in 7 games, the Heat drew a matchup with one of their long time rivals.

Although the Celtics beat the Heat in the regular season two out of three times, Miami has won the last three out of four playoff series vs Boston.

With history aside, this has all the makings to be an absolute dog fight.

Let’s discuss our keys to victory for the Miami Heat as they face a familiar foe and look to make their second finals appearance in three seasons.

3 Keys to Victory:

Defend the 3

In order to win this series Miami must not get careless at guarding the 3-point line. The Celtics are one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the postseason, shooting 37 percent. But give credit to Miami’s defense as they’ve allowed a league low 33 percent from deep in the playoffs. If the Heat can keep that defensive intensity going, they will already be in a good position to advance.

On the flip side, look for Miami to answer Boston’s solid guard play with some screen, roles, and kick outs of their own. Max Strus has been on fire, averaging 18 ppg vs the 76ers and has been a viable threat on both sides of the ball. His multifaceted game has pushed Duncan Robinson to the bench and don’t be surprised if he ends up being one of the highest scorers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Limit Boston’s stars

This is easier said than done but f the Heat can some how limit Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, they should be in good position to win the series. Tatum and Brown have superstar talent and are at times elite, but Miami will have to make sure that the duo is always being challenged. Look for a combined effort of Jimmy Butler, Max Strus, Victor Oladipo, and P.J Tucker to take on the responsibility of defending both scorers. The Heat will also have to pay close attention to Grant Williams who sparked the Celtics with a career-high 27 point night in Game 7 vs the Bucks.

Own the Boards

Rebounds are essential. The Celtics are averaging 32 defensive rebounds per game. The Heat are averaging just nine offensive boards. Miami did a great job of out-hustling, rebounding and winning the 50-50 balls against Philadelphia but crashing the boards will be key in this one.  Second Chance points and opportunities are the key in this pivotal playoff matchup.

Tipoff starts tomorrow at 8:30 PM. Be sure to catch all you Heat coverage right here on FoxSports640!