There is a wealth of talent at each position in the Boston Celtics-Miami Heat Eastern Conference finals series. Today, the Houdini looks at the point guard position.
With the first NFL Sunday of 2020 in the books, the focus could now return to the Boston Celtics, who begin their third Eastern Conference finals in four seasons tomorrow as they take on the #5 seeded Miami Heat.
With history being made in the form of a first-ever conference finals matchup that won’t include either the #1 or #2 seed, Boston matches up well with the defending champions. They took the season series 2-1, though Miami took the only contest in the bubble.
Then again, you could throw all of those results out the window now. The Cs are missing Gordon Hayward, and the playoffs are a different beast altogether. Rotations are shortened, and creative playmaking is prioritized.
No position focuses more on that creativity than the point guard position, and the floor general role is a strong one in this series. Though certainly not the deepest position in this series, there are still important facilitators at the top of the depth chart for the 1.
Here are the top 3 point guards in the series, ranked:
3. Brad Wanamaker, Boston Celtics
It may be somewhat shocking to see Brad Wanamaker’s name here instead of second-place finisher for Rookie of the Year Kendrick Nunn’s. Wanamaker has actually become more essential to the Celtics than Nunn has been with the Heat, though.
Miami has relied on the secondary playmaking of Tyler Herro and Andre Iguodola off the bench, while also getting facilitating out of their front-court in Jimmy Butler, Jae Crowder and Bam Adebayo. Meanwhile, Wanamaker has been the first ball-handler off the bench for Boston and has actually outpaced Nunn in every statistical category in more minutes and with more responsibility on the floor.
2. Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics
Don’t hate the Houdini for speaking the truth. While Kemba Walker is clearly the superior player at this point in his career, he has not outplayed Goran Dragic through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
While you could point to the fact that Walker has had to battle the defending champions and a gargantuan Philadelphia defense in the first two rounds, Dragic battled what was supposedly the top defensive team in the NBA in Milwaukee.
1. Goran Dragic, Miami Heat
To continue the point from above, Dragic’s superior point totals outweigh Walker’s negligible assists and rebounds advantages, but the Heat point guard’s 38 percent 3-point clip dwarf’s Walker’s 28 percent clip in the 2020 postseason.
While both players have had their fair share of clutch moments in these playoffs, Dragic has had less boom-or-bust potential and has been a steadier play for a Miami team that has lost just one game in their playoff run.