Boston Celtics: 3 bold predictions for Game 6 vs. Heat in 2022 Eastern Conference Finals
The Boston Celtics lead the Eastern Conference Finals 3-2 over the Miami Heat. They took their first and the most important lead of the series with a Game 5 win Wednesday night.
Both Marcus Smart and Robert Williams were available for the contest, allowing Boston to have their entire starting five take their positions. However, it was Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown who really made a difference in this one. Brown led the team in scoring with 25 points, while Tatum led in rebounds with 12 and assists with nine.
Now, the Celtics have the opportunity to close out the series at home. Can they pull off the win and advance to the NBA Finals, or will the Heat force a Game 7? Here are our three boldest predictions for the Celtics in Game 6.
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Celtics 3 Bold Predictions for Game 6 vs. Heat
3. Marcus Smart proves why he is the DPOY
Marcus Smart has missed a decent amount of time in the postseason tournament because of injuries. Most recently, he missed Game 4 after rolling his right ankle in Game 3, which added to the pain of his already sprained foot.
Fortunately, he was upgraded from questionable to available for Game 5, and managed to put up five points, five rebounds, and four assists in the win. However, Smart had noticeably less time on the court than his usual 35-40 minute average, only recording 24 minutes.
While the Celtics were likely airing on the side of caution for Game 5, expect Smart to be full force Friday night. He’ll play for at least 30 minutes in Game 6 and continue to prove why he was named the Defensive Player of the Year.
2. Jayson Tatum is the ultimate facilitator
In Game 5, Jayson Tatum proved to be a fantastic facilitator, increasing his assists while still managing to put up 22 points himself. This has been a theme for him throughout the Celtics vs Heat series, and for good reason. Miami often doubles or even triple-teams Tatum, leaving his teammates wide open.
At this point, the Celtics have it all figured out. Expect Tatum to still put up at least 20 points in Game 6 while also recording at least ten assists.
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1. The Celtics clinch their spot in the NBA Finals
With all of the Celtics’ starters healthy (dinged up, but healthy), expect them to pull away with this one. The Heat haven’t been the same since their last win back in Game 5, and the Celtics have held them to 82 and 80 points in the last two games.
This trend will continue in Game 6. Expect the Celtics to put up at least 110 points Friday night. Meanwhile, they won’t allow Miami to record more than 90 points. The game will be relatively close through the first half, but Boston will take a huge lead in the third quarter.
Finally, our boldest prediction yet: Celtics beat the Heat 112-85.