NBA Playoffs – playoffs – working day 43
The Celtics are already halfway there. They have gone from 0-3 to 2-3 in the NBA Eastern Conference final against the Miami Heat. But, above all, they have believed in themselves again, to rediscover themselves as the powerful and complete team that they are. Gritting their teeth on defense and fighting for every rebound as if their lives depended on it, the Bostonians subdued the Heat (110-97) this Thursday in the fifth game of the series and see a historic comeback within reach of the hand.
Never in the 150 times in NBA history that a team has lost the first three games of a best-of-seven matchup has it been able to come back. And it remains to be seen that this is the first time, of course. But so far they have placed 2-3, something that had only happened 14 of those 150 times. The next obstacle for the Celtics, who won this Thursday at home, will be the visit to Miami on Saturday.
It will be an exciting matchup. Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and theirs play at home to go to the NBA final after having qualified for the playoffs by the hairs, as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. In the series, two games have already been played in Miami, with a victory for each team. In Miami, last year’s conference final still stings, when Butler, the local star, missed the decisive shot in the seventh and final game, then playing at home.
Jimmy play off Butler was decisive for the Miami Heat to eliminate the best team in the regular season, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks, who were favorites to win the ring. He was also the key player in the tie against the New York Knicks.
His game against Boston has been fading after the first two games. In the third the whole team played at a high level, but in the fourth and fifth the Celtics have defended them very well. Miami has also been missing Gabe Vincent, who was becoming the revelation of the tie and who has added to the disabled list along with Victor Oladipo and Tyler Herro.
This Thursday, the Celtics came out ready to secure the game. They got 20-5 on the scoreboard shortly after starting thanks to great defensive concentration and since then they have kept a comfortable distance throughout the game. The first quarter ended 35-20 and at halftime it was 61-44. In the middle of the third, with a difference of more than 20 points, the game seemed doomed. The inconsequential last quarter was reached with a 90-72. A good part of the starters watched the end from the bench, already thinking about the next game.
The Celtics have not only defended as a team, they have also attacked as a team, with several very toned players. Tatum’s power and versatility (21 points, 8 rebounds and 11 assists) have been joined by the bombardment of three-pointers from Derrick White (24 points) and Marcus Smart (23 points) and the success of Jaylen Brown (21 points). Four players with more than 20 points in the match. The statistics of triples, those of lost balls and those of steals explain the difference in the final score.
Those from Boston traveled to Philadelphia to face the 76ers in the conference semifinal with a 2-3 loss in the series. They won there and then they were crushed at home with a Tatum display. So you’ve already traveled a path similar to the one you now have ahead of you. Miami still has two bullets in the chamber, but it would be very dangerous for them to leave their homework undone in Miami and put it all on one card in Game 7 next Monday in Boston.
In the NBA final await the winners of the Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets, who swept the Los Angeles Lakers. Led by Serbian center Nikola Jokić and guard Jamal Murray, the Nuggets have reached the first NBA final in their history, taking revenge on the Lakers, their traditional executioners.
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