Heating Up: Celtics vs Heat Game 1 Reaction

Heating Up: Celtics vs Heat Game 1 Reaction

by May 18, 2022 0 comments

It seems like it’s been a while since the Miami Heat last played basketball, and that’s exactly how they started the game. The Boston Celtics led by double-digits throughout the first half. Boston broke down Miami’s defense with terrific ball movement, while hurting Miami with transition points. After the first half, the momentum swung in Miami’s favor. They got the lead and even pushed it up to 20 points. With the win, Miami takes a 1-0 lead in the series. Here are my four takeaways from Tuesday’s win over Boston.

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Butler Does it All

Jimmy Butler has been playing at another level during the postseason. He continued that against the Celtics in Game 1. Butler kept the Heat afloat at times in the first half with 14 points. He took it to another level in the second half. When the national media mentions elite players, Butler’s name doesn’t get mentioned. But what he did in the second half was nothing short of elite. He kept the Heat up with timely shots and drawing fouls. There’s nothing flashy about his game but he gets the job done. His defense in the passing lanes also picked up as well. Right now, Butler is showing everyone that he’s elite and he deserves more respect. Butler had 41 points, nine assists, and four steals.

Huge Third Quarter

A lot went wrong for Miami in the first half. The offense was sluggish and the defense was a step slow. Miami’s ‘point of attack’ defense was completely nonexistent in the first two quarters. The Celtics were able to attack the paint at will. Heading into halftime, the Heat needed to come out the second half with more energy, and that is exactly what happened. The intensity of Miami’s defense was up during the third quarter. Miami went on a 22-2 run in the third. They were active with their hands and quickness on the defensive end, and able to get loose balls and force turnovers.

Herro Brings the Energy

The Heat’s offense was in a bind early in the game. Miami could not get anything going against Bo”ston’s tough defense. The Celtics were quick on their feet and played the passing lanes well. They also went at Max Strus on the offensive end, forcing him into two fouls. With Strus picking up his 2nd foul, Miami inserted Herro into the game, and things started to click on Miami’s offense from there. Miami had success with the Herro pick-and-roll action against the Celtics drop coverage. Herro was able to create shots for himself while also open up opportunities for the roller as well. He did get cold in the second half but without his early boost, Miami likely does not win this game. Herro ended the night with 18 points and eight rebounds in 27 minutes.

Undrafted Starters Step Up

It was quiet first half for Miami’s starting backcourt of Strus and Gabe Vincent. Both combined for five points in the first half. Early foul trouble limited Strus and the Celtics ball pressure forced Vincent to turn the ball over. In the second half, things got better for both players. Vincent hit a tough three-pointer over the length of Jayson Tatum. That got his game going from there. Strus also was able to shake free and knock down a couple of three-pointers. It wasn’t a great first half, but both players stepped up and played a key role in Miami’s win. Strus and Vincent combined for 23 points in the second half.

Next Up: Game 2 on Thursday. Game tips off at 8:30pm eastern time.

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