By DJ Harding –
For the second straight series the Boston Celtics will find themselves down 1-0.
After beating the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Boston Celtics would face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Miami came into the matchup off a defeat of the New York Knicks. Jimmy Butler in that series will play through a sprained ankle which wasn’t 100 percent going into the series with the Celtics.
The Ankle wouldn’t seem to be a problem as Jimmy Butler would give the Celtics 35 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, and 6 steals. Two of those steals were in the final minutes as the Celtics would have three straight turnovers.
Boston would struggle with turnovers and also not shoot as much as normal as the Celtics only shoot 29 three pointers which is 11 less than their average of 40 three pointers per game.
Boston would have 66 points in the paint which was similar to game 1 of last series with 62 they lost in both of those games.
Robert Williams III would be part of that paint attack as he would score 14 points and grab 7 rebounds. Four of those seven rebounds were offensive rebounds which turned into some of those 14 points.
Jayson Tatum would also attack the paint in what was a 30 point night which gives him 81 points in his last two games. Tatum was coming off a record breaking game seven performance in which he scored 51 points which is the most in a game 7 in NBA History.
Jaylen Brown the other half of the star duo would score 22 points in the loss. While Marcus Smart the former Defensive Player of the Year would score 13 points and have 11 assists.
Malcolm Brogdon, the current Sixth Man of the Year, would be Boston’s third highest scorer with 19 points off the bench.
For Miami besides Jimmy Butler’s scoring output Bam Adebayo would score 20 points.
The Heat would also see Kyle Lowry, Caleb Martin, Mad Strus, and Gabe Vincent each score 15 points on the night.
The Celtics are now 4-4 at home during the postseason as the Heat take game 1.
Game two will also be played in Boston on Friday May 19 at 8:30 PM EST.