The Miami Heat take a 3-1 series lead after tonights 112-109 victory against the Boston Celtics. It was a pretty ugly game and I think that style of game really suits Miami. They are hustlers and designed for this gritty and ugly type of basketball. It’s good to watch. Both teams shot the 3 ball very poorly. I was surprised not to see more aggressive drives into the paint, especially considering the long range shots weren’t dropping.
It was a career high in points for the rookie, Tyler Herro. 37 points on 67% shooting. That is almost unbelievable. Herro was also 50% from downtown, going 5 of 10. A perfect 4 of 4 at the free throw and he added 6 rebounds, 3 assists and only 1 turnover. What an absolutely phenomenal game from Herro.
22 points for Dragic, although it wasn’t his best shooting night. 24 points for Jimmy “Big Face” Butler, including some clutch free throws late. Butler added 9 rebounds to his box score. Another double/double for Bam, with 20 and 12. Robinson and Crowder were missing in action offensively, combining to go 1 of 14 (1 of 11 from long range). Yikes!
A tale of two halves is a basketball cliche that gets used a bit, but it’s never been more accurate than it was for Jayson Tatum tonight. 0 points in the first half, 28 in the second. It was lucky he got it going, because Boston had no hope without him. They were down 12 at halftime, until Tatum exploded for 16 points in the third and cut the deficit to just one. Boston actually managed to take a lead in the fourth, but it was short lived. Tatum had 3 blocks, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. He finished the night at 45% from the field, pretty impressive when you consider how many shots he missed early on.
Jaylen Brown was probably the best and most consistent player for Boston. He finished with 21 points (57%), 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steals and 1 block. What do you say about Marcus Smart tonight? Smart passing, dumb shooting comes to mind. He racked up 11 assists but also finished 1 of 8 from long range and 3 of 12 overall. It felt like most of the good he had done passing was overshadowed by his poor shot selection. Walker had 20. Hayward added 14. Theis had 8 points and 9 rebounds.
Boston were pretty lucky to still be in this game at the end. They were their own worst enemy tonight though. Miami really should of put them away in the first half. It’s yet another game for Boston in which they had mainly every statical advantage and still came up short. Better shooting percentage, more rebounds, more assists and more blocks. You know what else they had more of? I bet you do. Turnovers! 19 turnovers, compared to just 8 by Miami. Miami took care of the ball, Boston didn’t. At the end of the day, that’s the difference.
I was surprised to see that Boston had more rebounds, defensively and offensively. It felt like Miami were grabbing a lot of offensive rebounds and getting lots of second chances. They didn’t capitalise on them like they should of though.
One other thing to note, Miami’s zone defense is really giving Boston a hard time. They just cannot figure out how to score against it. Miami should stick with it for as long as they can. Unless Boston force them to change tactics, they shouldn’t change a thing.
Another win for the Heat. They are looking more and more dominant almost every game. It has been so much fun to watch them and they have really put a lot of teams on notice. I know I’m cheering for them!