There were then four teams left standing for the 2022 NBA playoffs.
After theAnd Last year's NBA Finalists were eliminated in Game 7s. The 2021-22 season is just one step away from crowning a new champion.
TheWe overcame By To reach the Eastern Conference finals. They are the top-seeded Who toppled The in six games.
TheTo stun the NBA-best Phoenix Suns in game 7, one of the most dramatic playoff blowouts in NBA history was used. This set up a showdown between the In the Western Conference Finals.
vs. . vs. . Which superstars will win the conference finals title? What strategies will each defense use to stop them from winning?
Here's a look at the NBA's last four games.
Note: Series odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook and ESPN's Basketball Power Index (BPI).
Stats: Series odds
Caesars: Miami +145 | Boston -165
Off. ratings: MIA (113.0, 12th) | BOS (113.6, ninth)
Def. ratings: MIA (108.4, fourth) | BOS (106.2, first)
Since 2005, the Heat and Celtics have been more often in the East finals than any other team.
Tuesday night will see the return of the iconic matchup in Eastern Conference basketball. The Heat will be making their eighth appearance in 18 seasons while the Celtics will be making their seventh.
The top-seeded Miami will have a chance at the NBA Finals. This is the sixth consecutive year and the first time since beating Boston inside the NBA's Orlando Florida bubble in 2020.
Boston will try to end a string of four consecutive conference finals losses, which included two to the Heat (2011-12 & 2019-20).
The unknown status of point guard will be the big question for the Heat as they enter this series.He has missed six games of Miami's playoff games since Game 3 of the first round of his hamstring injury.
Miami purchased Lowry to boost its offense in the second round of the playoffs, after the Heat were defeated by the champion Bucks in the first round.
Miami has gotten past it.And Lowry being sidelined, Boston will face a tough test as the NBA’s best defensive team for the final 35 games.
The Celtics came out of their seven-game slugfest between the Bucks and them relatively healthy.Will be available to go — and will pivot away from slowing down Planning against .
After leading the Heat to the NBA Finals in 2012, Butler was a superstar for Miami. He averaged 28.7 points, 7.6 rebound, and 5.4 assists, while shooting 52.5% from behind the arc and trying nearly eight free throws per night.
Surprisingly, Butler has managed to make 36.4% of his 3s in just over four games. He shot 23.3% in the regular season on just two attempts from deep per night. We witnessed how important 3-point shooting is in Miami's conference semifinal victory over Philadelphia. The home-road swings of deep on both sides were quite jarring.
Boston showed that it can get hot at any moment, as demonstrated in the series with Milwaukee.. The amount of elite defense talent on both sides — Boston finished the season in first place and Miami was fourth — will give a huge advantage to those who can break through from behind.
— Tim Bontemps
Stats: Series odds
BPI: Dallas (56%)
Caesars: Golden State -260 | Dallas +220
Off. ratings: DAL (112.5, 14th)| DAL (112.5, 14th)
Def. ratings: GS (106.6, second); DAL (109.1, sept.)| DAL (109.1, seventh)
The Warriors knew this from the beginningProblem was inevitable. It shouldn't surprise that this will happen in the 2022 West finals.
Warriors guard: “He's amazing!”After a win in Dallas in January 2019.
He's an experienced player of high-level basketball. He's a guy who is always moving at his own pace. I am sure he heard all the people discussing his game and didn't really know anything about him. It's a lot of fun to watch.
Curry and Golden State won't enjoy it as much with Doncic and his Mavericks standing in their way of another NBA Finals appearance. This will be the Warriors' first NBA Finals appearance since they lost to the Mavericks.In 2019.
Although Doncic vs. Curry would be a great matchup, what is more fascinating to watch? How the Warriors manage their defensive strategy against the Mavericks' 23-year old superstar.
, Thanks to Finishing at the rim. As he heals from a broken elbow.
Expect veteran to take his placeTo spend a lot of time trying to make Luka's day more difficult.
Doncic, as with any great player will be followed wherever he goes by the Warriors.Occasionally, they will switch to the guard. Before his Achilles and ACL injuries, he had many postseason defensive assignments.
Doncic scored 31.5 points per game against the Warriors during the regular season. This was only a.01% drop from his previous record.among those with at least two games against them, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Doncic scored 126 against the Warriors in four games. This was the fourth-highest total score by a player against Golden State since Steve Kerr's coaching tenure in 2014-15.
It will take the team defense effort Kerr discussed throughout his years against players like James and before and after his three-year Warriors stint to slow down Doncic..
This is the company Doncic keeps. The Warriors, which are the NBA's second best defensive team, must treat Doncic this way.
— Nick Friedell