Miami Heat Advance to Eastern Conference Finals for the Second Time in Three years


Ryan McKean

Game one of the Eastern Conference Finals at FTX Arena.

Ryan McKean, Multimedia Photo Editor

On May 12, the Miami Heat defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in a six-game series. This series will be the first of many challenges in these playoffs for the Heat. After defeating the Atlanta Hawks in the previous round of five games, this was the Heat’s first challenge of the playoffs.  

In the previous series, the Heat defeated the Hawks. Knowing they had a challenge ahead, the Heat took a week-long break. The challenge ahead was the Sixer’s Most Valuable Player, candidate Joel Embiid, who serves as captain for their team. The Heat caught a break when Embiid was benched for the first two games of the series due to an injury. 

The Heat took advantage of his absence, going on to win the first two games of the series in Miami. For game three, not only would the Heat go on to play in enemy territory, but their opponent’s superstar was due to return. Miami had to adjust to this major change after not having to face Joel Embiid for two consecutive games. 

“Game two, as a heat fan, was exciting to watch mostly because the heat controlled the tempo of the game all throughout. They jumped out to an early, comfortable lead that was exciting for me to experience because of big plays from Victor Oladipo that left the crowd roaring, but the game was fun and a big enough win that when I walked out of the hallway chanting “let’s go heat” with all the heat fans in the arena, I felt comfortable that we would win the series,” Miami Palmetto Senior High junior, Jake Harris said.

The Sixers won the next two games, tying up the series 2-2. The Heat knew that to be a championship-caliber team, they would have to combat the rapid changes to the game plan.

In game five, Miami beat the Sixers with a final score of 120-85. With a 20-point lead over the Sixers, Miami closed out the series by winning game six.

The Heat, not knowing who their opponent would be for the Eastern Conference Finals, went into the next series with an all-or-nothing mindset. On May 15, Miami found out who their opponent would be for the next round.

The Boston Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games. Both of these teams have a history when it comes to the playoffs, continuing their established rivalry. 

The first game of the Eastern Conference Finals starts on Tuesday. Both teams have championship aspirations. Either team can take this series. Especially with the past that both of these teams have had when matched up in the Eastern Conference Finals. 

The Miami Heat, with very heavy championship aspirations, hope to defeat the Celtics and make it to the National Basketball Association finals for the second time in three years.