GAME PREVIEW: Heat will try to take commanding 3-0 lead
Series now shifts from Boston to Miami, where the Heat are undefeated this post season.
The Eastern Conference Finals now shifts to sunny South Florida with the Miami Heat sporting a 2-0 series lead against the Boston Celtics. Miami stole not just one, but both games with their backs against the wall in a hostile environment of TD Garden. Now, they go home where they are undefeated in the postseason seeking to get the commanding 3-0 lead inside the Kaseya Center. The Heat are 5-0 playing in front of their home fans during this playoff run.
This is going to be a crucial game, as it can pretty much slam the door on the Celtics or give them an opportunity to get right back into this series.
The last game was yet another competitive one that featured Miami being down double digits and storming back to secure the win.
The Heat were down double digits in the 4th quarter and still found a way to get the job done. Which is something this team is now getting very familiar with.
Miami closed game 2 on a 24-9 run; right after Grant Williams decided to “poke the bear” with Jimmy Butler.
Butler responded with big bucket after big bucket yet again in clutch time, finishing the game with 27 pts, 8 rbs, 6 asts, 3 stls and 2 blks.
Bam Adebayo was a dominant force, getting a near triple double with 22 pts, 17 rbs, and 9 asts. Caleb Martin pitched in an impressive 25 points on very efficient shooting off the bench as well.
It was Gabe Vincent who rose to the occasion hitting a dagger jump shot in the closing seconds of the game, pushing Miami’s lead to 4, making it a two possession game.
Road teams that start 2-0 are undefeated in the Conference Finals. As a franchise, the Heat are 19-0 in series when leading 2-0.
The Heat need to stick to the game plan of allowing the offense to run through Butler. Not only that, but they need to come out after halftime strong like they have been and respond to the Celtics run’s on offense. Boston has been able to get some pretty nice leads at points during both games 1 and 2, but Miami has done an outstanding time at responding.
What this squad has been able to accomplish has been absolutely remarkable. Being the severe underdog going into every single series and still coming out on top against the greatest competition in the world.
If the Heat are able to pull off this upset, they would have taken down both the 2 best teams in the East on route to the NBA Finals.
Very small injury reports for both teams, as the only players listed for Miami are just Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo. Herro is closing in on possibly the 5th or 6th week of recovery from his broken hand.
It was reported the recovery time can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks; a return from Miami’s second leading scorer could potentially be a real possibility soon. Especially if the team does indeed advance to the Finals.
Tonight’s game is nationally televised on TNT.
Tyler Herro (hand) — OUT
Victor Oladipo (knee) — OUT
Danilo Gallinari (knee) — OUT
Probable Starters (at time of publishing):
Robert Williams |||
ODDS (via FanDuel)
Check the odds out at FanDuel!
Tipoff: 8:30 PM EST
Radio: AM 560 Sports WQAM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)
Spanish Radio: WAQI 710 AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)
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somebodys gonna pay gabe if he keeps this up
In all of my years as a Heat fan, I've only ever been really certain of an out come a handful of times. I new the Heat would win Game 5 in OKC in 2012. I knew they would lose Game 6 in Dallas in 2011. And I absolutely knew they would win Game 2 in Boston after hearing the players and coaches talking after Game 1. The Celtics sounded like a team that expected the Heat to get out of their way, and the Heat sounded like an underdog determined to prove everybody wrong.
That said, I still think Boston is extremely talented, and they are definitely good enough to win the series. I've been out of town all weekend so I haven't heard anything since Game 2. If the Celtics come out with the fire of a Championship team, they could turn the series back around tonight. But if they're planning to play with the same energy and expect 'talent' to carry them, I doubt this series goes more than 5 games.