BOSTON — The Boston Celtics will face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 on Sunday at TD Garden.
The matchup between the top two seeds in the East will be a rematch from the 2020 East Finals, a series that the Heat won in six games in the Disney Bubble.
Miami will have homecourt advantage in the series and will open up hosting Game 1 on Tuesday night with a 8:30 pm ET. Here’s a look at the full schedule
Game 1 — Tuesday May 17, BOS @ MIA, 8:30 pm ET (ESPN)
Game 2 — May 19, BOS @ MIA, 8:30 pm ET (ESPN)
Game 3 — May 21, MIA @ BOS, 8:30 pm ET (ABC)
Game 4 — May 23, MIA @ BOS, 8:30 pm ET (ABC)
*Game 5 — May 25, BOS @ MIA, 8:30 pm ET (ESPN)
*Game 6 — May 27, MIA @ BOS, 8:30 pm ET (ESPN)
*Game 7 — May 29, BOS @ MIA, 8:30 pm ET (ESPN)
This will be another heavyweight fight for Boston to get through in order to make their first trip back to the NBA Finals since 2010. The Heat however may not be at full strength with star point guard Kyle Lowry having missed several games in the second round with a hamstring injury, including a series clinching Game 6 against the 76ers.
On the flip side, the Celtics will likely be getting closer to full strength thanks to the return of Robert Williams to the lineup. He was active in Game 7 for the first time since suffering a bone bruise (Ime Udoka did not play him). A few more days of rest should give him a chance to contribute in this series and bring Boston’s starting five back to full strength for a tough matchup against Bam Adebayo.
The Celtics and Heat split the season series at 2-2 with Miami winning a huge game in April in Boston during the team’s last matchup which helped to ensure they would get the No. 1 seed in the East and homecourt advantage for this potential matchup.
The Celtics core will be looking for redemption in this series after melting down repeatedly against the upstart Heat in 2020 during fourth quarters as they lost out on a trip to the NBA Finals for the second time in three seasons. This time around, the entire group has matured and put together what was one of the best second halves of the season in regular season history. With a better supporting cast this time around for Brown and Horford, we are likely in store for a defensive slugfest with lots of 3-point shooting on both sides.
Amid what has been a storybook season of redemption for this Celtics team thus far, the team can take another step in Miami beginning on Tuesday night.