The Boston Celtics delivered an impressive response to their previous defeat in Game 4 – again. Now the playoffs’ bounce-back kings should also deliver in game 5. Newfound father power and another defensive exclamation point might help. The findings.
1. Celtics vs. Heat: A defensive exclamation point
4/17 successful triangles, 37.2 percent field goal rate – that was the rather meager result of the Celtics attack after the first 24 minutes. It should not have mattered to most fans in the sizzling TD Garden, despite the manageable odds, Boston was ahead by 24 points! The match was actually already settled at the break, the home team defense put an impressive exclamation point in the 102: 82 blowout in match 4.
After game 3, coach Ime Udoka was not very happy with how his boys had started the game. Everyone involved apparently took the 44-year-old’s words to heart, this time Boston took no prisoners from the first second. Opponent’s night started like this: Turnover Bam Adebayo, Jumper to ring by Adebayo, Fadeaway by Jimmy Butler to ring, Floater by PJ Tucker to ring. It all could go on like this or that for a good eight and a half minutes of play.
It took so long for Miami to put up a trick in the form of a successful field goal at all. The Heat, on the other hand, did not produce anything that could be counted from the first 14 attempts. According to ESPN it was the longest drought to start a playoff game since 2009. When Victor Oladipo finally scored from the field, the deficit was already 17 points. Miami could not get over it.
“It was not our best night offensively, but defensively we were elite most of the time,” Udoka said happily. “We still have room for improvement, but we can always count on the defense.” Even without the reigning defender of the year, Marcus Smart had to pass injured (ankle), Boston did not give the opponent any freedom. This underscores how strong this defense really is.
The Celtics benefited from the return of Robert Williams, who was back on the pitch after a break in the game. Although the center limped visibly in the third quarter with an injured knee, he gave himself ready. Before that, he still made a very good impression. Williams and Al Horford killed Adebayo, who was still dominant in the previous game – when the heat rolled towards the zone, for example, Williams was usually already there to help – and hit the zone a block to the other and around them was excellent help in the form of good rotations or strong closeouts.
Celtics vs. Heat: No transition, no easy points
Looking at the shot chart, the heat had to be overtaken by horror, in the first half (we exclude the second half due to the extensive garbage time) the guests scored only 2 hits in 4 attempts in the limited area, ie. directly on the ring, and 2 hits in 16 (!) attempts in the rest of the zone. “We were happy with too many middle-distance throws,” Jimmy Butler criticized.
The Celtics are completely different. Led by Jayson Tatum, they attacked the zone almost incessantly, had a clear advantage in points in the painted area (20: 8) in the first half and forced above all Boston to whistle and thus penalty throw (BIM: 21/26 FT in the first half , MIA: 6/9). In part, Udoka also relied on a relatively large lineup, which – among other things against a zone defense presented in phases of the Heat – dominated the boards and secured several offensive rebounds.
Another success factor for Boston: minimizing revenue. The big problem from match 3 was marginalized in match 4, the home team lost only 3 turnovers in the first half. So Miami did not make the transition and had to wear themselves out on the halfway line against Boston’s defense. In the full Eastern Finals, Miami scores high cleaning the glass only 93.1 points per possession on the half field, in the regular season it would be the 23rd place. If Miami can not get started, they will have a very hard time against the Celtics.
2. Celtics vs. Heat: The playoffs’ bounce-back kings
The Celtics suffered five bankruptcies this postseason, and Boston responded five times with sometimes dominant victories as revenge. Boston won those games with an average of 17.8 points, Tatum got 32.6 points per game – almost 6 points more than his playoff average.
“Of course, everyone knew how important this fight was,” the 24-year-old said after the recent blowout. “Everyone approached the game with a different sense of urgency.” From Celtic’s point of view, it would certainly not be bad if this urgency was also shown in the other games.
“Honestly … we should not have a slap in the face to answer. That’s just my opinion,” Williams said. With this in mind, he was not alone. “We can not always just turn on the switch after a defeat when we are desperate. We have to do it again in match 5 after a victory,” coach Udoka said.
Finally, Tatum repeated this mantra: “If we lose a game, then of course we have the feeling that the next one is a do-or-die game. We also need this attitude towards game 5, which is a must- win. That’s basically what it was today. ” It would be extremely negligent for bounce back kings to rely solely on their bounce back abilities.