Heat have to wait until Sunday to see if it’s Celtics or Bucks as opponent in Eastern finals

It will be one and done when it comes to the Miami Heat’s full-scale preparations for the Eastern Conference finals.

With the Boston Celtics defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 108-95 on Friday night at the Fiserv Forum, it will all come down to a Sunday Game 7 at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the TD Garden to decide the Conference Semifinal. This one is the best of seven.

Waiting for that winner will be a Tuesday game at 8:30 pm against the Heat at FTX Arena.

In the previous round, the Heat had two days to work knowing the Philadelphia 76ers were their opponent, winning that series 4-2.

But while Tuesday’s start gives the Heat four days off before returning after their series-clinching win Thursday night at Philadelphia, there will now only be Monday practice to work on knowing their next opponent. .

The Heat, who finished the regular season as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, went 1-2 during the regular season against the No. 2 Celtics, winning the final meeting.

Against the No. 3 Bucks, the Heat went 2-2, losing the series finale that season.

The Heat have faced the Bucks in each of the previous two postseasons, eliminating the Bucks 4-1 in the second round of 2020, when the postseason was played in the Disney World quarantine bubble. Then the Bucks swept the Heat 4-0 in the first round last season.

The Heat last met the Celtics in the playoffs in the 2020 Eastern Conference finals, winning that series 2-2. The last time the Heat played the Celtics in the postseason outside of a bubble was when they won the 2012 Eastern Conference finals 4-3.

Asked Friday on ESPN if the Heat would relish the opportunity to avenge last year’s playoff sweep at the hands of the Bucks, Heat center Bam Adebayo said: β€œYes, of course. But you know it doesn’t matter which one. We’ll get ready, get ready. Everybody is playing at a high, high level right now.”

If Boston is the opponent, Adebayo downplayed any animosity at being beaten for Defensive Player of the Year by Celtics guard Marcus Smart.

“Nah,” he said, “those are just prizes.”

Eastern Conference Finals

Game 1: Tuesday, FTX Arena, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Game 2: Thursday, FTX Arena, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Game 3: May 21, in Boston or Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Game 4: May 23, in Boston or Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

5* game: May 25: FTX Arena, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Set 6*: May 27, in Boston or Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Game 7*: May 29: FTX Arena, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

* – If necessary.

(There is no local television in the conference finals.)


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