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GAME PREVIEW: Heat with one last chance, set for win-or-go-home Game 7
Miami heads to an extremely hostile environment in Boston after blowing a 3-0 series lead; gut check time.
Heat fans don’t know how it’s gotten to this point, but it’s now here; game 7, against the Boston Celtics on the road. The Miami Heat took a commanding 3-0 series lead against the 2nd seed Celtics last week, just for the team to drop 3 straight and bring Boston right back into this thing. The Celtics will try to make history and be the first team ever to come back from down 0-3 in the NBA playoffs.
Games 4 and 5 ended up both getting out of reach, with Boston blowing them open and winning by double digits each game. However, game 6 in South Florida was a pure heart breaker, potentially the most painful loss in the entire 35 year history of the Miami Heat franchise.
The Heat wouldn’t go away and stuck around in game 6 after going down by 10 points or more multiple times during that game. Jimmy Butler was fouled on a three with 3 seconds left down 102-100 and nailed all 3 free throws to give Miami the lead.
However, a Derrick White tip in off a Marcus Smart miss at the buzzer forced a game 7 in bean town.
Duncan Robinson had a chance to seal that game with a wide open 3 (TWICE) and missed.
It was just truly devastating, and it will be real interesting to see if this Heat team can recover from really being THAT close to an NBA Finals berth.
The one thing to think of with optimism is that Miami lost game 6 by 1 point off the back of both Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo’s worst performances of their entire career. The role players kept Miami in that game.
Butler went on to tell media:
“I told the guys in the locker room, that if I play better, we’re not even in this position, honestly speaking.”
If the Heat have any chance of winning this game 7, Butler needs to show up. They are going to need a real “Playoff Jimmy” type of performance to get this job done.
All of the season struggles, both regular season and playoffs, come down to 1 final game. It will all be on the line tonight, including both Butler and even Erik Spoelstra’s legacy.
Nobody wants to be on the wrong end of history, and the Heat have put themselves in position to do so.
The second chance points and offensive rebounds by Boston have destroyed the Heat. It was the reason they lost game 6, literally and figuratively with White winning it at the buzzer off an offensive rebound.
The team needs to do a better job at securing these rebounds. Maybe inserting Kevin Love as the back up big instead of Cody Zeller can help a bit? Although Love has been going through struggles of his own.
A player like Haywood Highsmith could really help make an impact and bring some much needed energy to this Heat team on the defensive end. Whatever changes have to be made, coach Spoelstra is famous for being able to make these adjustments on a game to game basis.
Heat Nation, brace yourselves for one of the most important games in Miami Heat history tonight. This was not going to be easy by any means, but if any team can get it done, it’s the Heat.
All season long they have taken the hardest route, and now found themselves as an 8 seed one win away from the NBA Finals. It is now a best of one, winner takes all situation inside TD Garden tonight. One full calendar year from Boston beating the Heat in game 7 of the ECF on their home court, Miami has yet another and final chance to do the same tonight.
Same injury report as last game for both teams. Tonight’s game will be nationally televised on TNT.
Gabe Vincent (ankle) — QUESTIONABLE
Tyler Herro (hand) — OUT
Victor Oladipo (knee) — OUT
Malcolm Brogdon (forearm) — QUESTIONABLE
Danilo Gallinari (knee) — OUT
Probable Starters (at time of publishing):
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)
Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!
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