Antoine Walker says Heat would have had a better shot than Celtics at beating Warriors in Finals'
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Former Miami Heat forward Antoine Walker believes the Heat would have had a better shot at beating the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals than the Boston Celtics.

The Heat ended up losing to the Celtics in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals last season. However, Golden State was able to handle Boston in the NBA Finals, winning three straight games to close the series out in six contests.

“I think they would have had a better shot,” Walker said. “I don’t know if they could have scored enough to keep up with the Warriors, but defensively they would have been so stingy.

“And that’s where the Heat, and the game plan would have been a lot different than the Celtics. I hate to take away from Golden State, but if you go back and watch the film, Boston gave Golden State that championship.”

Walker, who played for both the Heat and Celtics in his NBA career, makes some good points, as Boston turned the ball over a ton in the NBA Finals, averaging 16.8 turnovers per game.

The Heat were one of the best defensive teams in the league last season, as was Boston, but Miami’s shortcomings likely would’ve come on offense.

With Tyler Herro nursing an injury, the Heat struggled to find consistent scoring after Jimmy Butler in the Eastern Conference Finals. That would have been problematic against a high-powered Warriors attack that featured Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole and NBA Finals MVP Steph Curry.

Miami can’t dwell on the result of the 2021-22 season, as it has to focus on getting back to the NBA Finals in the 2022-23 campaign. With several key players returning to the roster this offseason, the Heat should make a run at a top seed in the East once again.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.