Here we are, two months after teams entered the NBA bubble, awaiting an Eastern Conference final between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat.

These are two balanced, gritty teams. The Celtics won both of the teams’ regular-season matchups before the hiatus. But on Aug. 4, the Heat defeated the Celtics 112-106 even though the Heat’s Jimmy Butler sat out that game.

So who’ll win the playoff series, with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line?

To answer that question, The Athletic asked a league scout, a coach and a front office executive to analyze the series and offer their unfiltered predictions.

Let’s hear what our panelists have to say!

Scout’s outlook: “I think Boston’s quickness offensively is going to be decisive between (Jayson) Tatum, (Jaylen) Brown and (Kemba) Walker. Gordon Hayward coming back would be kind of the icing on the cake. Who knows if he’s even going to play and what kind of…





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