That’ll do it. The season is over for the Miami Heat. Miami started the game off very sluggish and trailed by double-digits early on. The Boston Celtics kept breaking down the Heat’s defense and getting into transition. Every time Miami fought back, the Celtics kept responding. Miami made it interesting late by cutting the lead to two late in the game. Unfortunately, they didn’t capitalize on their run and the Celtics finished it in the end. With the loss, Miami loses the series 4-3. Here are four takeaways from yesterday’s loss to Boston.
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Another Slow Start
The one thing Miami wanted to avoid in Game 7, ended up happening. The Heat started the game down 24-9 early in the first period. They shot 4-15 from the field and 0-5 from downtown. Miami’s offense was murky early, and the defense was just as bad. The Heat didn’t pick up their second assist as a team until the second quarter. You have to credit the Celtics’ defense for being physical and contesting the Heat shot attempts. While the Celtics got what they wanted offensively, Miami had to work for everything on the offensive end. Miami certainly picked it up at times and made it interesting, but the Celtics always had a response for that.
Butler Carrying the Load
Once again, the Heat’s best player had to carry the scoring load. With the Heat struggling to score offensively, Jimmy Butler kept attacking the paint and drawing the fouls. He kept trying to keep the Heat afloat with them trailing by double-digits, including scoring 19 of the Heat’s first 34 points. He had 24 points at halftime, including 18 points in the second quarter. it was mostly Butler carrying the scoring load, with help from Bam Adebayo. With the chance to tie the game down the stretch, Butler went for the go-ahead three instead of taking it to the basket. That was probably the only questionable decision by Butler all night. Butler finished with 35 points and nine rebounds.
Adebayo Steps Up
This has been a quiet series offensively for Adebayo. We haven’t seen much aggression from him throughout the series. In Game 3, he was able to get going and even lead the Heat to victory. Adebayo brought the same aggression in Game 7. He kept going at the Celtics bigs and was crashing the boards. Adebayo also attempted the mid-range jumpers as well. He was the one consistent player outside of Butler able to get going offensively. At times, it seemed as if both players were out on the island alone. Next season, Miami is going to need more of the same from him. Adebayo finished the night with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
The Heat guard was back in action after missing the past two games. Tyler Herro entered the game 23 seconds into the second quarter with Miami trailing by 15 points. Herro was a part of the small-ball lineup with Butler playing power forward. The return ended up being brief with Herro being scoreless in six minutes of action. He missed both of his only two attempts in the game. Herro did find Adebayo out of the pick-and-roll at one point. Overall, it was a short night for the Heat guard. He deserves credit for giving it a go, but he clearly wasn’t healthy, and it shouldn’t take away from the season he had this year either.
Next up: The Miami Heat officially start their offseason.
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