KEY POINTS

  • The Boston Celtics make history after taking out the Milwaukee Bucks
  • Jayson Tatum and the Cetlics' big stars are on a collision course with Jimmy Butler's Miami Heat
  • Ime Udoka's coaching will be tested by veteran mentor Erik Spoelstra

The Boston Celtics ensured that there will be a new king in the Eastern Conference--and the NBA by extension--after taking out the Milwaukee Bucks in a stunning seven-game series.

Powered by last year’s Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, it seemed as if the Bucks were going to steamroll the competition en route to another NBA title after taking down the Chicago Bulls in five games.

However, the Celtics continued to show why they were one of the best teams in the NBA since the calendar turned to 2022, adding 34 wins to end the regular season to the 17 that they started the season with.

New head coach Ime Udoka certainly found the magic recipe in Beantown as they went on to sweep the heavily-favored Brooklyn Nets in the opening round of the playoffs.

Following their seven-game triumph over the Bucks, ESPN’s Field Yates took note of what in-game commentator Mike Breen said during the game about the Celtics’ long history with the Eastern Conference Finals.

“The Celtics will now play in their 37th Eastern Conference Finals. They will now have played in exactly half of the Eastern Conference Finals ever,” he tweeted.

The Celtics, alongside their Western Conference counterpart in the Los Angeles Lakers, have been one of the most storied franchises in the history of the NBA and they will get to add more to their lore as they face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

With only four wins away from a 22nd NBA Finals appearance, a defensive standoff awaits them against the Heat who are led by the coalition of Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler and Victor Oladipo.

Oladipo has become an important contributor to the Heat’s success in the postseason by averaging 11.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 steals in the absence of Kyle Lowry who is out with a hamstring issue.

The Celtics are firing on all cylinders after coming back from a 3-2 series deficit to the Bucks thanks to the combined efforts of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, plus some key contributions from bench pieces like Grant Williams and Robert Williams III.

Udoka will have a tough task in front of him as he guides his young team past a championship-winning coaching veteran in Erik Spoelstra.

The Eastern Conference Finals kicks off on Tuesday, May 17 at the FTX Arena in Miami, Florida.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts on the bench during the fourth quarter in Game Seven of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on May 15, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
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