So let's look at a quick breakdown of Boston vs Miami. Written as an unbiased Celtics fan
Pick: Boston in 7 again, possibly 6
ECF rematch: Last year Boston was able to get by Miami in 7 games. They're aren't many differences between this year's matchup and last year's. Herro likely being out will be the key change, and for this series it will be a problem. His penetration off the dribble causes issues for Boston in the season matchups.
With him out, Boston's biggest threats in this matchup are:
1. Tatum no-shows: this is mental. Tatum has the tools to perform well against any defender. Miami doesn't have a shut down guy that is gonna take him out the series, but teams haven't needed one. Tatum mysteriously no-shows often, but he's heading into the series coming off a hot 4th qrt in gm 6 and an even hotter game 7 performance. In Tatum ill trust.
2. Bam getting hot: Adebayo has always been a problem for Boston. Horford steps up to the challenge against guys like Giannis and Embiid (they still get they're pts but its helpful). Bam plays that short mid range space that bothers big Al. So a hot Bam could hurt Boston big time.
3. Coach matchup. Spo is one of the best in- game and in-series adjusters in the league. He will make guys like Vincent and Martin effective on both ends vs the Cs, coupled with Duncan Robinson being annoying on slow celtic runouts to the perimeter. Spo alone is good for 1 win.
I didn't mention Butler going off for a few great games bc that should be expected. He's not on he tier of Tatum where an average game gets called out for negativity. When Butler scores 18 and plays solid defense, he gets credit. The expectations for him have always remained tapered. But he is a stud, especially this year in the playoffs, and will get at least 1 win on his own.
Miami wins - butler (1), Spo (1), team effort (1)
Boston wins will come off whats carried them year round: a blend of Brown early, Tatum late, and someone stepping up each game between that (brogdon, smart, white, horford)Overall Boston's depth will be too much for Miami. The Celtics are inconsistent in odd ways, hence the hesitation to say 6 games.