It’s panic time if you’re a Celtics fan. The Heat have a 2-0 lead, and a win on Saturday could all but put this series to bed. This is the year of the 3-1 comeback, but not the 3-0. There has never been an instance of a 3-0 comeback in the NBA Playoffs. Miami is too good to blow that.
And so, Boston needs to treat this as a win or go home type of situation. They need to limit their turnovers and finally get their offense going. When they build an inevitable 10-15-point lead, they need to play smarter with it. Hold on to it, and don’t just let Miami back in.
And if you are the Heat, keep doing the same thing. They have been a tough out all postseason, going 10-1, the one loss in Game 4 against the Bucks. They work equally hard on both ends of the floor, and it shows in the results. Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro have provided shear perfection at the shooting guard position for this team.
Boston is favored by 3 points, and the over/under is set at 206.5.
Boston Desperately Searching for Win
They might have Gordon Hayward back for the first time since early in the 76ers series, which would provide a huge lift. No matter how many minutes he could give, his return would be huge. He adds another scorer/playmaker to the lineup, who has playoff experience. They sure could use him so that Marcus Smart can come off the bench and bring energy.
Because there is no real sixth man without Smart, therein lies the problem. Miami trots in Kelly Olynyk, Andre Iguodala, and Herro. Boston has nobody to impact the game frequently off the bench. Brad Wanamaker and Enes Kanter played well last game, but it didn’t change much. As good as the starting unit can be, it’s not enough.
The answer to their win on Saturday is togetherness and depth. Can the sixth through ninth options have a positive impact?
Heat Looking for One More Gut Punch
Up 2-0 and halfway to the NBA Finals, the Heat won’t give up the fight. They are as well-disciplined as any team in the league since the restart, and it all starts with Jimmy Butler. How many star players have you seen that can impact the game as much with a 4-11 shooting performance? Butler.
He plays hard on both ends, leads by example, and always makes the smart play in the clutch. This team is built to win. Bam Adebayo dominates on defense, Herro and Robinson don’t miss shots, and Goran Dragic looks like his best self. Add in Jae Crowder making every three he seems to take, and you have a juggernaut.
A win Saturday could see Boston’s hopes and dreams put on hold.
Miami Takes 3-0 Lead
Hayward or not, Miami has too much firepower. They haven’t even broken a sweat, even when the game goes to the wire. It’s truly impressive. They go up 3-0.
Free Play: MIA +3
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