The second game of the Eastern Conference finals is set to be played at 7 pm ET on Thursday. Game 1 between Boston and Miami provided all the drama the viewers could have wanted. Clutch shooting from both teams, and a block to decide the game in the waning moments.
Two words sum up the Miami Heat Game 1 win: BAM, BAM. If it were not for the late-game defensive heroics of Bam Adebayo, the game likely would have headed to a second overtime. Jayson Tatum went to tie the game with a dunk, and Adebayo went up and blocked it. Combine that with Jimmy Butler’s late-game shot-making, and you have a win.
Boston will need to be better than they were, and Daniel Theis fouling out certainly didn’t help matters. They opted to use Brad Wanamaker instead of a player with more size. He had had a good game, but it was a tough matchup for Tatum and Brown to have to go against Adebayo. This isn’t the only reason why they lost, but it didn’t help matters much.
Despite the Game 1 loss, Boston is a 2.5-point favorite. The over/under is set at 209.
Miami Looks for 2-0 Lead for Third Time
In each of their first two series, Miami won the first two games. They aim to make it three times in a row. What more can be said about this team besides the fact that they are a cohesive unit where everybody knows their role and is supportive of one another? Meyers Leonard went from starter to benchwarmer, but his energy on the pine has been higher than ever.
Kendrick Nunn lost his starting job but isn’t complaining. Meanwhile, all-stars Butler and Adebayo continue to dominate on both ends of the floor. And 20-year-old Tyler Herro is getting better on a game-to-game basis with all aspects of his game. Pat Riley assembled the most underrated team in the NBA.
Boston Tries to Avoid 0-2 Hole
After a heartbreaking Game 1 defeat, the Celtics need to bounce back quickly. You don’t want to fall down 2-0 to a Miami team like this. And while Gordon Hayward is out again, it is unclear when he will play, as he may need to re-exit the bubble as his wife will be due soon. They miss him in the lineup.
Kemba Walker is going to need to step up and rise to the occasion. He hasn’t been able to do it since the first-round series against Philly. Tatum and Brown need to continue to stay aggressive and seek their offense. And Smart has to continue to stay locked in, ready to shoot at any time.
This is a dangerous starting unit, with a very limited bench. But it hasn’t slowed them down yet. Wanamaker, Ojeleye, and Williams will keep playing hard, pushing them to the next level.
Boston Evens the Series
After another close game, the Celtics will come out smelling like victory. No 0-2 hole. Series tied 1-1.
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