The Celtics are only one win away from the NBA Finals. While Boston were able to count on their star power in the second half, the Heat did not come together offensively. Where did Miami miss the chance to win? What are the other aspects of concern in the upcoming match(s)? 5 game results.
1. Miami should have led higher in the second half
38.2 percent of the field, 25 percent of the distance, 10 turns and 9 offensive rebounds are allowed. Those staggering numbers were for the Celtics in the first half of Game Five of the East Finals. “That was so bullshit, our defense kept us in the game,” Jaylen Brown said of what was shown, at the same time adding that he didn’t always have to be good in the playoffs.
“If you want to achieve something special, that’s part of it. We pride ourselves on winning in different ways.” Since Miami only reached 18/48 from the field and 4/21 from the perimeter and thus only used the extra throws insufficiently (+15), the Celtics only entered the dressing room with a 5-point deficit.
With all the defensive quality the Heat have, it was clear early on that Boston would not produce such a poor offensive performance in 48 minutes. Of course, both teams have their strengths in this area and know each other from the inside out. However, not many guests were forced to turn, and Brown in particular was quite by his side (4 points at the break). Miami made very few of these points, in the end it was only 17 points after winning the ball and only 5 in the first half.
“We can’t afford to lose the ball this way,” coach Aimee Odoka told his pupil during the break, and he kept his word. After the change, no one was added. As a result, “only” weakness on the defensive boards was a concern (19 allowed for offensive rebounds), but thanks to the attack improvement this can easily be compensated for.
Boston scored 37 points in the first half and 32 points in the third quarter alone, while Miami scored only 16 points in the same period. The Celtics managed to turn the entire open game into a blast in what seemed like ten minutes. After two of Brown’s three-pointers early in the final quarter, the guests drove +23, and suddenly the south beach lounge emptied.
The main problem with the Heat was of course the hit rate from distance, it was 19 percent at break, and at the end it was only 15.6. In addition to some well-played throws that didn’t want to go down, the host side tried to force it no matter what – although sometimes the quality of the throw wasn’t there. Duncan Robinson pulled the trigger ten times, while the Celtics made an apparent effort not to let him get into a rhythm in the first place.
In Jimmy Butler’s character, the Heat went to the streak only twice in the first half (2/2, coach: 7/9), this was Miami’s first free throw in all games in 32 minutes. On a half-court offense, the Heat had major problems reaching the basket or making a high-ratio throw. The game was almost expected to turn around as the game progressed.
2. Boston star delivers – and in Miami?
Because: The Celtics star duo of Tatum and Brown are too good for it. With a total of 10 points and a 3/16 FG who were at the break, it was almost impossible for both of them to continue to score miserably. Tatum was very good in Game 4, and Brown was very consistent apart from a weaker confrontation last time. And then it turned out: Tatum put 9 points in the third quarterBrown 13 in fourth place.
Brown, in particular, can’t miss at times—whether that’s three pointers, a well-contested jump from the midrange or a brutal gravity-surpassed dunk. Brown and Tatum scored 37 points in the second half, the Heat 38. “It’s not good,” coach Eric Spoelstra said of his team’s three-point stake, but that sentence could also apply to the overall performance.
“We didn’t like the way we played. We asked ourselves, ‘How much is that for us?’ “We saw all the 50/50 balls that were gone and put them to use and decided to clean them up,” Tatum said of his team’s recovery after a historic feat. He became the second youngest player in NBA history to reach 1,500 playoff points at the age of 24 years and 83 days. Only Kobe Bryant was younger. “We know that when we start out, not many people can keep up,” Brown said of playing with Tatum.
And with the heat? They cannot rely on a corresponding star power. This is not a new problem. The burden on Jimmy Butler, who wasn’t 100 percent clear but still had by far the most playing time for the Heat, is pretty big offensively. Already in the early stage he dropped an unusually large number of easy points on the basket, some shots missed by a wide margin, and his legs failed him with jumpers. The score was 4/18 FG for 13 points.
Pam Adebayo, who played more than 38 minutes as Hettel’s second team, was the best player among the guests. However, he still owes it to proving that he can take a team on offense consistently. When he was at his best, the game was more or less settled. His score in the current series: 10, 6, 31, 9, 18. Looking back, Game 3 seems more an anomaly than the norm. This is not enough for the second best player in the semi-final team. The firepower of Sixth Man Tyler Hero, whose participation in Game 6 was also completely open, is missing in every nook and cranny.