The name of the final at the eastern conference in NBA has been announced: Miami Heat-Boston Celtics.
Considering the whole season at the Eastern Conference, no one expected these 2 teams to play in the final. Led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks dominated the entire season. However, they did not avoid a 4-1 defeat to the Miami Heat in the semi-finals. Milwaukee Bucks, the best team of the whole season, could not stand Miami’s toughness. They stopped Antetokounmpo very well with tough players like Jae Crowder, Igoudala, Adebayo. In the offense, they used the leadership of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
Butler, who didn’t try to keep by Philadelphia last summer, seemed too focused on the playoffs this season. Also, Goran Dragic, who came off the bench, showed a very important leadership. When Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson’s shots added to these, they defeated Milwaukee easily.
Another strong and expected final team of the East was Toronto Raptors. Toronto Raptors, who closing the season as the defensive rating champion, could not avoid losing to Boston in the semi-finals.
The Canadian team showed no presence in the offense, although they showed its tough defense. Not given much chance after Gordon Hayward’s injury, Boston put up a great resistance here. This injury seemed to have helped the roles in the team settle down. While there were many alternatives in its short rotation(1-2-3 positions) such as Hayward, Kemba, Wanamaker, Brown, Tatum, Smart, role sharing and ball using were difficult. However, with Hayward’s injury, Marcus Smart, Wanamaker and Brown’s recruitment increased the team’s defensive power. It also increased the role and efficiency of Tatum, Brown and Kemba in the offense. This made them seem very superior to against Toronto. Toronto was really lucky in 2 of their 3 games. The chance was with Toronto in Game 4, which Anunoby scored the last-second basket, and in Game 6, which went into 2 overtime. Boston could have finished the series earlier if these matches haven’t happened like that.
So who will win the final series? Let’s answer this question:
First of all, Boston has more offensive threats in the series. When Kemba Walker is added to Tatum and Brown’s offensive levels, the number of ball-handlers increases. But Miami only has Jimmy Butler on that. Adebayo is a center player, Herro and Robinson are just shooting players. Boston can win when two of three stars( Tatum, Brown, Kemba) perform well. But Miami needs a certain level of contribution from 4-5 players to win.
In contrast, Miami promises a lot on the defense side. They have very tough players like Igoudala, Butler, Crowder, Adebayo. Except for Tyler Herro, they have no players with defensive weaknesses. It is something we already know to have coach Spoelstra prefer tough players for years. And this year they added a star like Butler to their hard team and made it to the conference final.
However, it can be said that the Boston Celtics are also a good defensive team. We see a mini Kawhi-George performance from the Tatum-Brown duo. When energetic players such as Smart, Wanamaker, Theis and Robert Williams are added to this, they become a serious defensive team.
With Robert Williams taking the time of Enes Kanter, their defense hardened further. As a result, Miami without a ball-handler, except for Jimmy Butler and Dragic, may have trouble attacking from time to time. I think Boston Celtics will be the eastern champion with 4-2 or 4-3.
Onat Orhan Selvi
Image: Liberty Ballers