POOR SHOOTING NIGHT
The Boston Celtics have kept things interesting now that they’ve won game five. The Heat started off in the drivers seat this game and took a lead in the first quarter. They were up by 12 at one point and had some Boston fans worried. Goran Dragic led the Heat with 23 points 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Duncan Robinson was the Heat’s second leading scorer with 20 points. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo both had great games with 17 points and 13 respectively and each had 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Young star Tyler Herro didn’t have a night like he did in game four, but was still able to contribute with 14 points. Overall, the Heat were balanced when it came to scoring but shot poorly from three. With shots only by Dragic, Robinson, Herro, and Olynyk coming from deep. Boston stepped up their defensive intensity and handled them on the perimeter better. Erik Spoelstra has been playing a tight rotation, with Herro and Iguodala as their 6th and 7th option. They have to tighten up their zone before game six and should prepare for another all-out Boston team.
PLAYING FROM BEHIND
As opposed to earlier in this series, this time it was the Celtics who got to play catchup. An incredible third quarter shifted the pace of the game in their favor. Jayson Tatum was relentless when it came to driving to the hoop and although his field goal percentages were below his usual standards, he was able to make 12 of 14 from the free throw line and cause foul trouble on the Heat. Jaylen Brown is also playing his most consistent basketball. Scoring 28 points to Tatum’s 31, he is looking like a reliable second option for Brad Stevens offensively. There are times when Kemba Walker struggles against this defense, but he put up 15 points and 7 assists regardless. Daniel Theis was able to stay out of foul trouble for the most part and chipped in 15 points with 13 rebounds. Marcus Smart and Gordon Hayward are offering good shot creation when they are caught in the middle of the zone. They attack with purpose, and every time it leads to a positive possession finishing with a good look. Smart provided 8 assists to his team to go along with his 12 points. Stevens has been thankful for the return of Hayward, as his bench has been mixed. We didn’t see Robert Williams III this time but Enes Kanter has been having an impact when he plays too.
People saw the statistic saying that the two teams were tied on points heading into this match but the series was still 3-1. The Celtics were able to show that they aren’t out of it yet. They missed multiple chances to maintain their lead in games earlier in the series but they don’t have the option to slip now. They have been doing a good job of containing Butler, forcing the Heat to try other options and prevent him from scoring. Each game in the series has been exciting so far and I think the cumulative score shows that best.
So, the Celtics keep things going and leave the Heat two more chances to win. Let’s see if they can stun the Heat in game six and force a game seven in one of the wackiest playoffs in an NBA season.