Boston Celtics are now just one win away from booking their place in the Finals
After a convincing win in the Game 5 of the eastern Conference Finals, Boston Celtics are just one win away from getting into the NBA Finals after a long absence of 12 years. The game 5 was a game of two halves, each dominated by different team. Celtics had a very poor start in which they scored just 37 points on 46 possessions (0.80 per) but made a strong comeback to win the game, scoring 56 points on their first 41 possessions.
Here are some of the taking points for Celtics victory over Heat in the Game 5:
- The more Healthier, the Merrier
Considering the type of physical problems Celtics are facing right now, it was the best game of the series for them as it was the first time that all of their players were available for the match, though they weren’t 100% healthy. Tatum got his shoulder injured in Game 2 and was looking in pain since the very start of the game. Robert Williams III, who was playing his ninth game since returning from that big knee surgery, didn’t start the third quarter and was limping throughout the fourth. Marcus Smart was also struggling because of the ankle injury he sustained in Game 3.
Apart from them, Tyler Herro missed his second straight game due to his groin injury. Kyle Lowry (hamstring issue) and Jimmy Butler (knee injury) also struggled throughout the game and it was evident that both of them aren’t 100 % fit yet.
Lowry was 0-for-6, with zero assists and three turnovers in 25 minutes. Butler was 4-for-18. The Heat coach Erik Spoelstra refused to answer questions about his players’ limitations and said;
“We are not going to make any kind of deflection or any kind of excuse, Boston beat us tonight. And let’s be clear about that.”
- Offence Mayhem for Miami Heat
Miami Heat have some wonderful defenders but what they lack are the quality in offence. That is why many doubted they would challenge for the championship as they have just two starters, Butler and Bam Adebayo, who aren’t that good at shooting from the outside and a third (P.J. Tucker) who just doesn’t shoot much at all. Despite that, Miami were able to rank 12th aggressively in the regular season, thanks to the outstanding performance by Max Strus, Gabe Vincent and Caleb Martin. But their luck has run out as they now been held under 90 points per 100 possessions in back-to-back games.
- The failure to pull-up 3 by Strus and Lowry
As mentioned before, Lowry was struggling big time throughout the match, much because of his injury as he miss all of his shots on Wednesday. But he wasn’t the only one to do so, as Max Strus also had a very poor game, having 0-for-9 shots, including 0-for-7 from 3-point range.
It was quite an odd game for Strus as he had a success rate of 41% in both catch-and-shoot 3-pointers in regular season. On the latter, he was 28-for-73 (38.4%), ranking 20th among 142 players with at least 50 pull-up attempts. Though the defenses have been excellent, most of the Strus’ 3s have been off the dribble in the playoffs (22%) than they were in the regular season (17%).
- The Half time speech had its effect
With 10 turnovers, Celtics offence was in much worse shape than the Heat during the first half. Due to the poor offence by the Heat on the other end, Celtics managed to comeback in the game, despite their second half (56 points on 46 possessions) being an average performance by their standards. As Sir Alex once said, defense is the best offence, Celtics managed to feed off their offence through their defensive play. In the third quarter, they scored on a designed play, followed by a fast-break and-one from Brown. Another and-one on the break from Horford, later in the quarter, gave them the lead for good.