We have an Eastern Conference Finals rematch.
After Sunday's Game 7 win over the 76ers, the Celtics will battle the Heat for a trip to the NBA Finals. Boston emerged victorious last year in a thrilling seven-game series against Miami, but the circumstances are much different this time around.
The Heat, who entered the 2022 NBA Playoffs as the top seed in the East, are now the underdog. They are looking to become just the second No. 8 seed in league history to reach the championship round.
The Celtics, meanwhile, are considered the betting favorites to be the last team standing. They will have home-court advantage in this series, but as we've learned throughout the postseason, that is no guarantee of success.
Which team will keep its title hopes alive?
MORE: Revisiting LeBron James' history in Conference Finals
Celtics vs. Heat predictions
Don't let the seedings fool you. This series feels like a legitimate toss-up.
Behind the brilliant coaching of Erik Spoelstra, the Heat are a disciplined group and will follow the game plan on a nightly basis. Despite what Jimmy Butler may tell you, "Playoff Jimmy" is a real thing. He is capable of single-handedly swinging games.
Joe Mazzulla doesn't have the same level of postseason experience as Spoelstra, and he has made some questionable decisions in his first season. These Celtics have also shown that they can be inconsistent with their execution. Some of their losses are truly confounding.
But player for player, Boston does have the talent advantage. We'll give a slight edge to Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the rest of the Celtics.
Celtics in seven
Celtics vs. Heat series odds
Boston is a heavy favorite to win the series and advance to the NBA Finals for the second straight year, according to BetMGM.
Celtics vs. Heat schedule
Here is the complete schedule for the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals:
|Date||Game||Time (ET)||TV channel|
|May 17||Game 1||8:30 p.m.||TNT|
|May 19||Game 2||8:30 p.m.||TNT|
|May 21||Game 3||8:30 p.m.||TNT|
|May 23||Game 4||8:30 p.m.||TNT|
|May 25||Game 5*||8:30 p.m.||TNT|
|May 27||Game 6*||8:30 p.m.||TNT|
|May 29||Game 7*||8:30 p.m.||TNT|
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Celtics vs. Heat 2022-23 regular season series
The Celtics and Heat split their four regular season matchups.
- Oct. 21, 2022: Celtics 111, Heat 104
- Nov. 30, 2022: Celtics 134, Heat 121
- Dec. 2, 2022: Heat 120, Celtics 116 (OT)
- Jan. 24, 2023: Heat 98, Celtics 95