Patriots great James White shares prediction for Celtics-Heat series

James White shares prediction for Celtics-Heat series originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

James White attended several games at TD Garden to support the Boston Celtics throughout his time in New England. But for the second straight year, that allegiance will be put on hold in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The former Patriots running back is a Fort Lauderdale, Fla. native who will be rooting on the Miami Heat in the upcoming playoff series. Ahead of Game 1, he joined our Tom E. Curran on a new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast and shared his take on the matchup.

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"We have a great coach, Erik Spoelstra. Jimmy Butler raised his level of play with Tyler Herro going down. We have a lot of veteran players. We don't have the youth that the Celtics have, but we have a lot of veteran guys. So it's going to be a tough matchup," White said.

The Celtics took down the Heat in seven games last year to advance to the NBA Finals. Will they repeat as Eastern Conference champions, or will Miami get its revenge?

"It's hard for me to say. I think the Celtics will win the series, but the Heat aren't just going away with a sweep or five games," White said. "I think it will go six or seven, just the way the Miami Heat, they play everybody tough. So it's going to be a fun one to watch."


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Curran asked White whether anyone on the current Heat roster reminds him of any of his former Patriots teammates. Butler's postseason pedigree earned him a comparison to "the GOAT."

"I don't want to say he's on Tom Brady's level as a player. But when the playoffs come around, he turns into a different player," White said. "He kind of reinvents himself. If he needs to score, he's gonna score 40 points. If he needs to lock down the best player, he's gonna go out there and take on that task."

Celtics-Heat Game 1 is set for 8:30 p.m. ET Wednesday at TD Garden. Be sure to get ready for the action with Celtics Pregame Live on NBC Sports Boston at 7 p.m.


Also discussed in the episode: White's advice for Mac Jones entering this season. The Patriots’ need for a third-down back. White on his decision to retire, and more.

Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on YouTube.