Readers Say

Readers expect a hard-fought Celtics win in conference finals against Heat

Ninety-two percent of voters say the Celtics will advance to the NBA Finals.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum drives for a running dunk against the Heat.
Jayson Tatum scored 31 points the last time the Celtics faced off with the Heat. Barry Chin/Globe Staff

On Wednesday at 8:30 p.m., the Celtics will open their Eastern Conference Finals playoff series with the Miami Heat.


In a poll posted Monday, readers were asked to give their predictions and explain why their choices.

In total, 120 readers responded to the poll, and at 110 votes, the vast majority picked Boston to beat Miami in the series for the second year in a row.

Neither group of voters expects an easy series, however.

For the most part, Heat supporters predicted them to win in six or seven games and thought that head coach Erik Spoelstra would be the key difference maker.


One reader who declined to provide their name did say that Jimmy Butler could also swing the series, writing, “Celtics are too inconsistent. Jimmy Butler is too good.”

Celtics believers offered more variance in their series predictions and explanations, from a sweep to a seven-game war.

Some responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

Picking the Celtics

“The Celtics got some of their fire back, but [Jayson]Tatum will need to maintain this intensity: Jimmy Butler won’t let him do whatever he wants offensively like [Joel] Embiid did. The C’s win in 6, but the Heat will batter and bruise them with their style of play. The C’s limp into the finals, where our depth will be tested.” – Mike B., Somerville

“4-2 Celtics. They have a deeper and better team than last year. Heat are banged up and missing two important players.” – Chris M., Brooklyn

“Celtics in 6. Jimmy steals one or two but no Tyler Herro means no chance to win.” – Millan S., Chelmsford

“Celtics win – in 5 if focused, serious, low turnovers; 7 if bad tendencies continue.” – A. K., Bakersfield, California

“Boston in 6. Celtics have a deeper bench. Miami can’t guard both [Jaylen] Brown and Tatum.” – Mack L., Weston, Florida


“4-1 if not a sweep by Boston. Tatum finally had his coming out party and I feel like that will continue and he is going to dominate.” – Hersh, Boston

“Boston in 5 or 6. Jimmy Butler is darn close to unstoppable but Boston has both Tatum and Brown, plus a much stronger supporting case around them. It’s a team game and Celtics are much deeper than Miami.” – Michael, Nashua

“5 games, Celtics have figured out their defense with the double big lineup and much better against pick and roll, not dropping so much and allowing easy pops and floats.” – Ryan W., Des Plaines, llinois

“Celtics in 5. I think game 5 vs 76ers was the basement and a wake-up call followed. Tatum is who we know him to be. He’ll be MVP of the series.” – Andrew D., Newport Beach, California

“Seven games, with the C’s winning two or three games in Miami and losing at least two at home. They’ll also lose any game that’s close.” – Bill, Salem

“While there will likely be a game or two that fall below C’s standards, I am confident that we will prevail in 5 – 6 games.” – A reader

“Going to be a 7 game battle – I would expect nothing less from these two teams. They know each other well.” – Alan, Lynnfield


“4-3 because Boston seems to play to the level of urgency. It SHOULD be a 5 game series.” – Rob M., Castle Pines, Colorado

“Celtics in six. Battle tested and more talent than Miami. Championship number 18 is coming!” – Jim T., Walters, Virginia

“Tatum & Brown go off, Heat don’t have the firepower. Green in 6.” – Richie D., Hampden