Recap: Heat fall to Celtics 110-97
The Heat never led and were dominated in every area by the Celtics in an atrocious loss
The Heat got out to an absolutely atrocious start, going down by more than 10 early as the Celtics ran away with things early on a 14-0 run. The Celtics just seemed unable to miss threes and it left the Heat reeling. The Heat tried to answer back with some looks of their own, but it wasn’t enough to start with Derrick White and Jayson Tatum tormenting the Heat on the defensive end. Caleb Martin tried to get the Heat going in an effort to chip away at the lead - but Tatum responded back in a big way. The Heat looked out of it, displaying some of their most lethargic basketball of the postseason. Every time the Heat seemed to do something right, the Celtics would hit a three leaving the Heat spinning its wheels. The Celtics hit another three to end the quarter leaving the Heat down by 15, and without momentum.
Boston’s shooting did not slow down as they hit another three to start the second quarter, Haywood Highsmith joined the rotation for added defense but Boston was still dominant from beyond the arc shredding Miami’s zone. Lowry and Duncan hit some good looks to start chipping away, but it seemed like the Celtics were eternally up 15 points. Duncan Robinson looked great sparking a 9-2 run to get within 11, but Miami’s lack of rebounding halted the run. To make things even worse Caleb injured his knee and looked a bit hobbled. It didn’t help that Bam couldn’t hit a bucket.
The Heat really lacked effort, there was no hustle in comparison to the Celtics and Miami paid for it in the form of a 12-3 run. The Heat showed signs of life in the final minute but would head to the locker room down nearly 20 points and ready for a Udonis Haslem tongue lashing.
The Heat’s defense was better to start, but turnovers remained an issue. Lowry looked like a shell of himself, turning the ball over and playing matador on defense. Jimmy attempted to run the offense solo, but thankfully he’d get a little bit of help from Haywood Highsmith. Still the Celtics dominance from beyond the arc continued, and unfortunately Miami’s tendency to turn over the ball also continued. The Heat had no answers and Boston extended their lead to 23. Bam found a little bit of a rhythm in the latter half of the third scoring a quick three buckets, but on the other end the Heat could not get stops.
Things didn’t get better, as Miami continued to make mistakes and get buried alive. They looked outclassed out there as they were constantly turned away on offense. There were some positives from Haywood Highsmith, who seemed like the only Heat player giving effort tonight aside from Caleb, but the game seemed finished heading into the fourth quarter as Jimmy and Bam didn’t return. The Celtics were a much better team tonight. Miami will get another chance to close out the series on Saturday night, and the good news? It’ll be hard to play worse than this.
Heat's possible antidotes imho:
1. Force their defense to over re-act.
2. Limit the TOs.
3. Hit the Boards.
4. Lowry has to be less tentative to hit those shots.
5. What happened to Heat's pick n'roll offense in the last 2 games?
6. More player's movement off the ball from the wing player's. Offense beginning to look static and predictive.
Expect Boston applying pressure defense from Heat's half court in game 6.
The last 2 games , Boston corrected their problems on defense and offense.
1.Their perimeter defense has returned to its elite status which I had alluded to in an earlier post at the beginning of the series.
2. They are mobile on defense, sticking to their guy tenaciously and switching when it is ONLY necessary.
3.They are quicker collapsing in the paint.
4. At least one guy follows up on the board when someone hits a 3, not assuming the 3 will go in. Contrary, the Heat are looking and only reacting if it does not go in.
5. With Jimmy or Bam on the ball, they are forcing them to give up the ball and anticipating an outside pass.
6. Contesting every loose ball and Heat's 3s.
7. Their transition defense is quicker, 2 guys running back simultaneously.
1. Moving the ball much more and trusting guys more.
2. Quicker to send a guy into the paint to break Heat's zone defense.
3. Luckily, making those open 3 pts with much ease from slower Heat's defense.