NBA Roundtable: Eastern Conference Finals Picks

NBA Roundtable: Eastern Conference Finals Picks

This article is part of our NBA Roundtable series.

Welcome to another edition of the RotoWire NBA Roundtable. With the Eastern Conference Finals between the Celtics and Heat set to tip off Tuesday night, the RotoWire NBA staff offers up their predictions.

3. Boston Celtics vs. 5. Miami Heat

James Anderson: Celtics in 7. These teams are pretty evenly matched, but I think the Celtics' ability to put Marcus Smart on Goran Dragic, Jaylen Brown on Duncan Robinson and Jayson Tatum on Jimmy Butler will do a pretty good job of neutralizing the Heat's offense. Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro will need to be excellent for the Heat to win the series, which is certainly possible. The coaching matchup is dead even, but I think the Celtics will be able to get better looks in the halfcourt, especially since Miami does not have anyone who will be able to stay in front of Kemba Walker.

Alex Barutha: Heat in 7. This is going to be a compelling series and one I would be nervous to bet on. Miami has lost just one game in the playoffs and took complete control over the Bucks – one of the best regular-season teams ever – to the point where by Game 2, it felt like the series was over. We can't discount the Celtics defeating the defending champs, but Boston nearly let it slip out of its grasp in what was very nearly a complete collapse after jumping out to a 2-0 lead. There's an argument to be made the Celtics are better than what they've shown, and that the Heat might be overperforming, but I don't put enough stock in that to move off of what Miami has shown thus far.

Ken Crites: Celtics in 7. As a Celtics supporter, I'm particularly worried about Bam Adebayo. In their seeding-game matchup, Adebayo carried the Heat to victory behind a career-high 18 free throw attempts. Even so, I'm not sure Miami's three-point shooting can stay hot for four victories. And I'm confident the Celtics' defense will be able to slow down JImmy Butler. I think Boston prevails in the end, but if Miami runs things through Adebayo, I'm going to be worried.

Mike Barner: Heat in 7. I can't wait to watch these two teams go at it. The Heat are going to be well rested while the Celtics are likely drained from their series with the Raptors. I expect Miami to get off to a strong start in the series and then manage to hold on for the win. 

Nick Whalen: Celtics in 7. If anyone tells you they know how this series is going to play out, they're lying. Cut that person out of your life immediately. I've waffled between Celtics in 7 and Heat in 7, but at the end of the day I trust Boston and Brad Stevens to make the game-to-game adjustments Milwaukee simply refused to acknowledge in Round 2. If the Celtics bring the same level of top-down resolve they had in the Toronto series, I like them to win a similarly-close Game 7.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Whalen
RotoWire's NBA Editor and host of the RotoWire NBA Podcast. Nick was awarded the FSWA Best Podcast -- All Sports award in 2017 and 2018. Many years ago, Stromile Swift gave Nick his unbelievably sweaty headband after a preseason game. Despite its failure to match his school colors, Nick went on to wear that headband for the entirety of his sixth grade basketball season. Catch Nick on Twitter @wha1en.
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