Colin Cowherd doubled down on his prediction for the Eastern Conference finals before Game 2, saying the Boston Celtics would defeat the Miami Heat despite losing Game 1 at FTX Arena.
“Unless Jimmy Butler wears a cape and is Superman, I don’t think Miami wins another game in this series. I don’t,” Cowherd said Friday on FS1. “So far, Butler has scored 70 points in the series. The rest of the (Heat) starters combined — two of them undrafted — have scored 74 points. Boston’s got better talent, better shot creators, far more elite defenders. At one point, the Celtics went on a 17-0 run in a playoff game on the road. That’s hard to do.”
The Celtics bounced back from their Game 1 loss — a defeat largely attributed to an awful third quarter — to convincingly beat the Heat 127-102 in Game 2. Miami started strong Thursday but quickly fizzled as Boston seized control of the contest and never looked back.
All told, the Celtics so far have looked like the better team. It’s still bold to predict they’ll rattle off three more wins without a single blemish, though. Miami entered the NBA playoffs as the top seed in the Eastern Conference and still has plenty of firepower to at least make life difficult for Boston.
Just don’t tell that to Cowherd, who is all in on the C’s taking care of business to advance to the NBA Finals for a date with the Golden State Warriors.
“I also think Boston’s big three of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, they’re smart guys. They’ve been in this league now four and five years. They get it. They have to win this series. Nobody thinks Miami’s great,” Cowherd said. ” … Almost everybody picked Boston for a reason, even though Miami was the No. 1 seed: Boston’s better. They’ve got better players. In seven of the eight quarters, Boston’s been the better team. And then they had one disaster quarter. But it felt like, it looked like, (Thursday) night, equally rested and healthy, it wasn’t that close.”
Cowherd suggested there’s only one way the Heat can win the series: If they catch fire from beyond the arc, sinking enough 3-pointers — “the great equalizer in basketball,” per Cowherd — to offset the Celtics’ overall talent advantage.
Game 3 is Saturday night, with tipoff from TD Garden in Boston scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.