Report: Miami Heat Now Favored to Reach NBA Finals From Eastern Conference

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With the Miami Heat now just one win away from the conference finals, the team has been installed by one oddsmaker as the new favorite to capture the Eastern Conference title.

The Heat entered their series against the Milwaukee Bucks as underdogs against the team with the best regular-season record, but have been the team dominating action on the court.

In Friday’s Game 3, the Heat were in danger of watching their 2-0 advantage get cut in half as they entered the final quarter trailing by a score of 87-75.

What followed over the final 12 minutes of that contest was the Heat playing at their peak, outscoring the Bucks 40-13 and winning the game, 115-100.

One of the chief reasons why the Heat have been able to take control of their series against the Bucks is the play of Jimmy Butler, whose performance has overshadowed Bucks standout Giannis Antetokounmpo.

If the Heat are able to win one more game over the Bucks, they would face either the Boston Celtics or Toronto Raptors in the conference finals. That Celtics-Raptors matchup has the Celtics currently holding a 2-1 lead entering Saturday’s Game 4 action.

Should the Heat reach the NBA Finals, it would mark the first time since 2014 that the team has competed in that series, having won the most recent of their three titles the year before.

The Heat will go for the sweep against the Bucks in Sunday’s Game 4, which is set for 3:30 p.m. EST.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.