While the series between The Heat and Celtics has, so far, proven particularly lopsided with each meeting, with semi-systematic “blasts,” the first half of Game 5 is refreshing from this point of view. The two teams collide, and the intensity is very high. The address is definitely not there (13/34 for Boston, 18/48 for Miami) but that doesn’t spoil the fun.
The first trend emerges: leaders are looking for sensations throughout this first period. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are at 1/9 and 2/7, respectively, while Jimmy Butler is at 2/8. Secret exteriors are interiors that steal the show: Al Horford in the oven and mill (10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block and 1 interception), while Bam Adebayo, with 10 points and 5 rebounds, is by Bam Adebayo.
In the break, at the end of this choppy first half (17 ball losses for 20 passes, cumulative) but highly controversial and entertaining, it is the Heat who keep a short lead, carried by their defense (42-37). The Celtics struggle in attack, including 10 losses by ball (12 points conceded), but they are in the game after all.
Returning from the locker room, the first half’s achievements should be forgotten. Heat players lose ground in attack (4/23 on shots), and are no longer able to impose their defensive intensity on the Celtics, who get up and score 32 points in the third quarter alone (at 18/11), when they only have a 37-point record during the first 24 minute of the match. Under the impetus of Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown who have finally found their way onto the circuit, the Pushing force Fully rocks at the end of this third quarter (69-58).
The start of the final chapter is fatal for the locals, who took a terrible 14-2, bringing the difference to +23 (83-60) eight minutes from the end of the match. It was (already) said mass, temp, air conditioned FTX yard.
Apparently in control of the first half, Eric Spoelstra’s men sank after the break. Unable to put out a fire in their defense when the Celtics found some semblance of offensive tempo, they were pushed away from the circle, not finding tempo from three-pointers. Now after two straight defeats, the Miami players are back at the wall. They must now focus on Game 6 without delay: On the Boston floor, it will be Win Or Go Home.
For Boston, it’s a huge victory, and perhaps the best of their elimination campaign. But the hardest part still remains to be done: We must now finish work on TD Garden on Thursday. The result is the franchise’s first finale since 2010.
What to remember
– Celtics 24-2. There was still only one difference (59-58) 2 minutes and 44 from the end of the third quarter. And then Jaylen Brown simplified his game, Boston’s shots started coming in en masse, and it seemed like the Heat no longer had the energy to contain this new momentum, and especially not respond to it. After a few minutes, there was an 83-60 on the scoreboard, and that game was folded 5.
– Heat on the kneecap is awkward. Miami managed to snatch two out of their first three games, but the physical crippled the last two. This band obviously plays with jerky teeth, showing off with disastrous skill proportions. 4/18 for Jimmy Butler, 0/15 for the honorary tandem in the backcourt, Kyle Lowry and Max Strauss, 7/45 at 3 throws in total for the Florida Bowlers…
✅ Interior Boston. Big night for Al Horford and Robert Williams III, who controlled the racket, against the Heat often in the “little ball” formation. The first collected 16 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks, while the second, more secretive in attack but terrifying in defense, finished with 6 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks.
✅ “Jay”. The Celtics’ two stars were deceptive and controlling in the first half by starting their club’s rebellion after the break, especially in the third quarter. So clumsy (7/20), Jayson Tatum still manages to touch the triple-double: 22 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists. For Jaylen Brown, he’s less complete but more consistent in attack: 25 points on 10/19 and 4 rebounds.
✅ Pam Adebayo. Double it at 18 points and 10 rebounds wasn’t enough. Very lonely in attack, without Tyler Herro and with awkward Jimmy Butler, The Heat pivot works perfectly. He shone in defense, as usual, but pushed away from the circle the size of the Celtics, and with his limbs failing to put in a shot, he couldn’t do much to help his side.
⛔️ Jimmy Butler. In difficulty since being injured in Game 3 of this conference’s final, Jimmy Butler missed his match, despite 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. The choppy shot error, which results in a small 13-point total at 4/18. It’s very difficult for the Heat to win when their best player is in trouble at this point. Knowing the animal, and even if it appears to have completely diminished physically, we can nonetheless anticipate a huge reaction to Game 6, Miami’s potential last game of the season.
⛔️ Heat ejectors. With racket access blocked, the Heat team found themselves shooting a lot from far away. Score: 7/45, very low success rate of 15.6% with 0/7 from Max Strus in particular, 0/5 from Kyle Lowry, 1/7 from Gabe Vincent or even 1/5 from Jimmy Butler and PJ Tucker. Eric Spoelstra almost felt a shock of disgust when he saw the stat line at a post-match press conference…
Game 6: In Boston, Friday night to Saturday, 02:30.