All-Star Break
Feb 14, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) controls the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers in the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Heat Look to Bounce Back in Boston

Following a 114-94 loss to the Celtics in Game 1 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs, the Miami Heat are looking to steal one in Boston for Game 2.

Key Takeaways

Without Jimmy Butler, also known as “Playoff Jimmy,” it was always going to be tough to stop the duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Having said that, the Heat did well to hold the duo to a combined total of 40 points.

Anytime you can defend Jayson Tatum well and keep him to 1-8 shooting from 3-point range, you can live with that.

Jaylen Brown was also guarded well, only having 17 points, but on 50% shooting from the field.

The biggest story on the Celtics side was the assistance from Derrick White and Kristaps Porzingis, combining for 38 points.

This was partly due to the Heat heavily guarding Tatum and Brown, forcing other players on the team to beat them. With how deep the Celtics team is, that has been one of the driving forces as to why they are considered the favorite to win it all.

Without Jimmy Butler, the Heat not only lose one of their best scorers, but a very good defender as well. It showed in Game 1. The highest scorer on the Heat was Bam Adebayo with 24 points.

From there, however, there was quite a big drop off. Caleb Martin had four points, shooting 0-4 from 3-point range while Tyler Herro went 4-13 from the field with 11 points.

Improvements for Game 2

Having said that, it is clear how the Heat can turn things around and win in Boston. They need to hit shots. In game 1, the Heat shot 32% from three. They shot the ball well from inside the arc, but to beat a powerhouse like the Celtics, they will need to hit threes. Especially because you cannot count on Jayson Tatum shooting 1-8 from three for a second game in a row.

As far as the bench goes, Delon Wright was impressive shooting 5-5 from 3-point range. If the Heat can get Wright involved again, that could be the key for them in Game 2.

The next thing the Heat must do is play better out the gate. The Heat began Game 1 allowing the Celtics to go on a 14-0 run before finally getting on the board. They went into the half in Game 1 down 15.

Miami was then outscored by 17 in the third quarter by the Celtics. That cannot happen if the Heat want to take down the No. 1 seed. While they outscored the Celtic 35-23 in the fourth, it was too little too late at that point.

In order to win this game, the Heat must stay close with the Celtics early and play their style of basketball.

The last thing they must do is get to the free throw line. The Celtics do a great job designing plays that can get them to the line. In Game 1, the Celtics went to the FT line sixteen times while the Heat went six times.

If the Heat can flip those numbers around and continue to shoot well from the line, that could improve their chances at victory.

Ultimately, the Heat have an uphill battle ahead of them in order to win this series. Having said that, the Heat are no stranger to this. They were the No. 8 seed last year before going on an incredible run and making it to the NBA Finals before ultimately losing to the Denver Nuggets.

As the No. 8 seed once again, the Heat will be looking to leave Boston with the series tied 1-1 before heading back to Miami for two games.

About Alexander Searle

Check Also

Minnesota falls short at home in Game 1 of Western Conference Finals

The matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves lived up to its expectations …