Monday’s game was completely different from Saturday’s. In Game 3, it was the Miami Heat who threw the first punch, building a 26-point lead. However, the Boston Celtics threw the first punch in Game 4, and it was a hard one. The Celtics started the game on a 21-4 run and completely dominated the Heat in the first quarter. Miami started the game flat and couldn’t get anything going. This game was not close at all, with Boston leading by as many as 30 points in the second half. With the 102-82 defeat, the series is now tied at 2-2. Here are my takeaways from Monday’s Game 4 loss to Boston.
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First Quarter Start
Everything went wrong for Miami at the start of the game. They came out lifeless, with no energy at all. Miami could not get into a rhythm, offensively. The Heat did not score their first field goal until there were just three minutes left in the first period. Every shot they took was short and hit the front of the rim. The shot creation was mostly coming from Max Strus and Kyle Lowry. It was a weird start to the game for Miami. On the other end, the Celtics had no issue scoring the ball and finishing in transition. Miami trailed the Celtics 29-11 after the first period.
Oladipo an Bright Spot
It’s hard to find positives during a blowout, but Victor Oladipo was an early positive for the Heat. With everyone else struggling to score, it was Oladipo who was able to get going. The speed and burst were there as he attacked the basket. It’s been a while since we saw this burst from him. The disappointing part was that he was the only one doing it. It was a lot of Oladipo isolation plays in the first half. He had more points than the starters did for the majority of the game. While it’s great to see Oladipo score more, the starters need to be better. Oladipo ended the night with 23 points and six rebounds.
Bam takes a Step Back
The Bam Adebayo seen in Game 3 was nonexistent in Game 4. Adebayo had one shot attempt in the first half. Boston’s defense had something to do with it. With Robert Williams back in the lineup, the Celtics closed the middle on Adebayo. The Celtics’ drop defense cut down some of the Adebayo slips to the basket he made on Saturday. Boston seemed more willing to give Adebayo the mid-range jumper, but he was passive. The aggressive mindset was not there on Monday. For the Heat to win this series, he has to get more involved offensively. Adebayo finished the night with nine points and six rebounds.
Despite the loss, Miami was able to steal one on the road in Boston. Heading home with the series tied ahead of Game 5 is a good spot to be in. The series is now a best-of-three with two of those three in Miami. Tyler Herro should be ready for Wednesday’s Game 5, as well. The Heat could have used his scoring prowess in Game 4 with their early offensive struggles. Throughout the postseason, the team has shown they can bounce back after tough losses. Now they’re going to have to do it again. All they have to do is protect their home court and they will punch their ticket to the NBA Finals.
Next Up: Game 5 on Wednesday. Game tips off at 8:30pm eastern time.
Follow Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23
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