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It is time for the Eastern Conference Finals and the two teams that have made it this far and will fight it out to get to the NBA Finals really should not surprise anyone.

Both the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics have been two of the best teams in the league all year long and the one thing they both have in common is that they are elite-level defensive teams.

Scoring is the name of the game nowadays, but the saying of “defense wins championships” still proves to be true!

The Miami Heat defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in six games to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second-time in the last three seasons and the eighth time overall in their franchise's history.

Led by their All-Star trio in Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo, the Heat are a tough team to stop offensively as well, especially given the amount of depth they have on their roster.

Finishing the regular season ranked 5th in defensive rating and 10th in offensive rating, Miami has a great amount of talent on both ends of the floor and they ranked 1st in the league during the regular season in bench points scored per game.

As for their opponents in the Boston Celtics, they defeated the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks in seven games to get to the Eastern Conference Finals.

This marks the fourth-time in the last six seasons that Boston has been in the Eastern Conference Finals and the 36th time in their franchise’s history that they have reached the Eastern Division/Conference Finals.

Led by their All-Star duo in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics really redefined their identity midseason and quickly became one of the best defensive teams in basketball.

Marcus Smart won Defensive Player of the Year for Boston, making him the first guard to win the award since Gary Payton did so in 1996, and while they are not a deep team, they play a physical, hard-nosed brand of basketball for all 48 minutes of every single game.

This Eastern Conference Finals series should be a fantastic physical and mental battle and it should not shock anyone to see these two teams go to a Game 7 when all is said and done!

So who will throw the first punch in this series and take a step closer to reaching the NBA Finals on Tuesday night?

Here's how to watch Tuesday’s game, with gametimes and TV, lineups, bios and other must-know details.

How to watch Celtics vs. Heat

  • WHO: Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat
  • WHAT: NBA Playoffs, Eastern Conference Finals - Game 1
  • WHEN: 8:30 p.m. ET, Tuesday, May 17
  • WHERE: FTX Arena, Miami, Florida
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: CLICK HERE

Key Stats & Facts For Celtics vs. Heat

  • The Celtics and Heat faced off three times during the regular season with Boston winning two of the three games played by an average margin of 23.5 points.
  • The Heat finished the regular season ranking fifth in defensive rating and fifth in points allowed per game (105.6), while the Celtics finished the regular season ranking second in defensive rating and first in points allowed per game (104.5).
  • Miami is 34-12 at home this season and Boston is 27-19 on the road, including the postseason.
  • Depth has been a huge factor for Miami in these playoffs thus far, as five different players have been the team’s leading scorer in a playoff game and five different players are averaging at least 10.0 points per game in the postseason.

Last Matchup:

March 30, 2022 - Heat 106, Celtics 98

In their final meeting of the regular season, Miami defeated Boston 106-98 behind Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry combining for 47 points. Tyler Herro recorded his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes off-the-bench. For Boston, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 51 points, but the rest of the team shot just 36.9% from the floor. Boston was held in check by the Heat’s defense all night long, as they turned the ball over 18 total times in the game.

Celtics-Heat Most Recent Playoff Series:

  • Celtics last playoff series: The Boston Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 4-3 in their Eastern Conference Semifinals series. Jayson Tatum was spectacular against Milwaukee, averaging 27.6 points per game on 42.9% shooting from the floor. As a team, Boston shot 110-292 (37.7%) from three-point range, something that will likely carry over into the Eastern Conference Finals against Miami.
  • Heat last playoff series: The Miami Heat beat the Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 in their Eastern Conference Semifinals series. Defensively, Miami looked flawless at times, as they held the 76ers under 100 points in four of the six games played in this series. Jimmy Butler continued his hot-streak in the playoffs, as the veteran All-Star averaged 27.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.7 steals and shot 51.3% from the floor.

Latest Injury News:

Celtics: Sam Hauser (shoulder) - OUT, Marcus Smart (foot) - QUESTIONABLE

Heat: Kyle Lowry (hamstring) - OUT, Caleb Martin (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE, Max Strus (hamstring) - QUESTIONABLE, P.J. Tucker (calf) - QUESTIONABLE and Gabe Vincent (hamstring) - QUESTIONABLE

Projected Starters:


  • G Marcus Smart (Q), 6-3 guard: 12.1 points, 5.9 assists
  • G/F Jaylen Brown, 6-6 guard/forward: 23.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists
  • F Jayson Tatum, 6-8 forward: 26.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists
  • F Al Horford, 6-9 forward: 10.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists
  • C Robert Williams III, 6-8 center: 10.0 points, 9.6 rebounds


  • G Gabe Vincent (Q), 6-3 guard: 8.7 points, 3.1 assists
  • G/F Max Strus (Q), 6-5 guard/forward: 10.6 points, 3.0 rebounds
  • F Jimmy Butler, 6-7 forward: 21.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists
  • F P.J. Tucker (Q), 6-5 forward: 7.6 points, 5.5 rebounds
  • C Bam Adebayo, 6-9 center: 19.1 points, 10.1 rebounds

Betting Odds:

  • The Heat are currently 1.5-point favorites over the Celtics as of Tuesday morning, according to
  • The over/under for this matchup is currently set at 204 total points.

What to watch for:

  • The Miami Heat are looking to make it back to the NBA Finals for the second-time in the last three seasons.
  • The Boston Celtics are looking to make it back to the NBA Finals for the first-time since 2010.
  • The Celtics (17) and Heat (3) have combined to win 20 NBA championships.
  • The Heat had seven different players average at least 10.0 points per game during the regular season.
  • Jayson Tatum has proven to be one of the best offensive weapons in the league this year, averaging 26.9 points per game this year (7th in the NBA).
  • Jimmy Butler is averaging 28.7 points per game in the playoffs, ranking him just behind Luka Doncic for the highest scoring average amongst active players in the postseason.
  • Miami is 45-7 this season when they score at least 110 points. Boston is 48-16 this season when they hold their opponents to 110 points or less.
  • The Celtics and Heat have played a total of 23 playoff games and four playoff series all-time. The Heat are 13-10 against the Celtics in the playoffs and Miami is 3-1 against Boston in playoff series, including being 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston, beating them in 2012 and 2020 to advance to the NBA Finals. 
  • Complete 2022 NBA Playoffs Schedule, Results, Gametimes, TV, Point Spreads: The best two months in basketball are here as the NBA postseason has arrived, starting with the Play-In Tournament on Tuesday. Here is the complete schedule, with gametimes, TV information and point spreads. We will update this story daily with results and updated betting lines, so bookmark it and follow along for the next two months of a wide-open postseason. CLICK HERE.
  • What To Expect From Celtics-Heat Eastern Conference Finals Series: The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will begin their Eastern Conference Finals battle on Tuesday night in Miami and here is what we should expect to see from this matchup. CLICK HERE.