no mercy for the Celtics, the Heat very close to the final
Miami made short work of Boston on Sunday in Florida and now leads 3-0 in these Eastern Conference finals. Like Denver in the West. The Heat are only one victory…
Miami made short work of Boston on Sunday in Florida and now leads 3-0 in these Eastern Conference finals. Like Denver in the West.
The Heat are only one victory away from their seventh NBA final, after crushing (128-102) the Celtics on Sunday, making a show of strength and collective self-sacrifice, the complete opposite of their overly willing victims , logically on the verge of elimination in the play-offs.
Miami now leads 3-0 in this one-sided series, which was not necessarily expected from the seeded N.8, who had to go through two play-off matches six weeks earlier. But the spring games have the gift of transfiguring the Florida team, whose constant combativeness, its primary virtue, only asks to be unleashed.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Bucks paid the price in the first round, then the Knicks afterwards. And so it seems, the same fate awaits the Celtics for their third meeting at this stage in four years. In Orlando’s anti-Covid bubble in 2020, the Heat won, before falling in the final against the Lakers, and last year, Boston took revenge, only to then give in on the last step against Golden. State. To reverse an extremely bad situation, the C’s, like LA also led 3-0 by Denver in the West, are now forced to win the next four games, a feat that has never happened in the league. ‘history.
And we do not see how, after the humiliation inflicted by the Heat, dreaming more and more strongly of a fourth championship title after those of 2006, 2012 and 2013, they will achieve the impossible. Because mentally, the knockout is palpable. On the floor, he translated very quickly to the score in the first period, which ended with a score of 61-46 in favor of Miami. But the problem for Boston is that, subsequently, the starving people opposite drove the point home, pumped up almost every time-out by Erik Spoelstra, screaming “you play very well there! But above all, don’t stop!“.
For a coach, all victories are good to take, even the ugliest ones. But when they translate the collective expression to this point, when the effort does not weaken, to execute brilliantly in attack and deter so well in defense, that must be the pinnacle. That’s how ‘Spo’ must have felt, who insisted after the match on ‘the solid, mature and professional approachof the match from his players. “Just in the morning prep session, you could see how well that was. But it still had to be proven on the floor. And they did.»
Butler to the economy
In the second half, in the wake of Gabe Vincent, taking himself for Guillaume Tell (29 pts, 11/14 in shots including 6/9 winning), Miami thus counted up to 33 units, ending with an overall address of 57 % on shots (19/35 from behind the arc). Accustomed to playing the saviors, Jimmy Butler did not have to work (16 pts) this time, even saving minutes. Because other second knives were sharp, such Duncan Robinson (22 pts) and Caleb Martin (18 pts). As for Bam Adebayo (13 pts), he symbolized the aggressiveness of the Heat, crushing several overpowered dunks.
It really seemed too easy for Miami. A shame when you know the obligation of the Celtics to fight with their guts, back to the wall. It did not happen. And Jaylen Brown (12 pts) to feel somewhat ashamed on behalf of the team, in a press conference: “I don’t even know where to start. I feel like we failed our fans, our club, ourselves… It was just embarring“.
With Jayson Tatum (14 pts) they accumulated a starving 12/35 on shots and appeared liquefied, they who would like to be the worthy heirs of Bill Russell and other Larry Bird who wrote the legend of the Celtics, in 17 coronations often won in the guts , a record equaled since 2020 by the Lakers. But for Boston, as for LA, the dream of an 18th ring now seems almost gone…