The Celtics find Smart and Horford and change gear, the Heat melt and collapse 127-102 at home
The Boston Celtics found both Marcus Smart and Al Horford and dominated Miami in Game-2, winning 127-102 at the Ftx Arena thanks to a monstrous team performance on both sides of the pitch. This is the first home defeat for the Heat this postseason. Celtics disarming for confidence and effectiveness, with an advantage that also touched 34 points in the 4th period. Ime Udoka’s team, which in these playoffs has a record of 4-0 in the games following a defeat, is now returning to Boston to play the next two games of the series in an optimal psychophysical condition.
Anyone who has followed the Celtics this season knew that well before this match. With Marcus Smart and Al Horford, Boston is another team. Beyond the important absence of Derrick White (he has just become a father), the Celtics have recovered two key players for technical balance and their impact was immediately seen. An initial rotation to 7 men with Al Horford and Robert Williams in the starting lineup to give greater physical depth under the basket. The Celtics defense was suffocating, versatile and intense. Miami never had a chance. Boston also ruled the attack calmly and clearly. Zero isolation (positive health signal), ball that has moved properly, extra passes and well-constructed shots (28 team assists).
The percentages say that Boston shot with 51% from the field and 50% from three (20/40), the latter the main key of the partials that paved Miami in the 1st half. Jayson Tatum (24 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists) and Jaylen Brown (24 points and 8 rebounds) played their role to perfection, as did multifaceted Grant Williams, near perfect from the field with 19 points, 5/7 shooting. , 2/2 of three and 7/8 to the free. The MVP of the match, however, was Marcus Smart, who caressed the triple double with 24 points, 12 assists, 9 rebounds and 3 steals in 40 ‘. A total presence of him, enveloping and engaging in every possession. Smart is one that always makes a difference. The heart of the team. Impossible to imagine Boston without him.
The Heat lasted very little in this match, just the space of some possession (well played, it must be emphasized) at the beginning of the 1st quarter and in the very timid reaction in the 3rd. PJ Tucker’s left knee injury, limited to just 22 ‘on the parquet floor by a contusion (he will be subjected to an MRI in the next few hours), has made even the smallest of the certainties of Erik Spoelstra’s men, overwhelmed in the race, vanish -2 where they had been superior in the first game: quality of executions and physicality. Jimmy Butler (29 points) was among the few to oppose the inevitability, trying the impossible to ignite the comeback. It was reasonable to expect a reaction from the Celtics, even a victory of theirs, but not of this magnitude. Miami must now find itself, especially mentally, and go to Boston with the aim of regaining possession of the home factor. At the press conference, Butler promised everyone that his will find a way to do it.
The first 4 and a half minutes of race-2 are signed by the Miami Heat. Coach Spoelstra’s team goes up to +10 (18-8) and seems almost not to have interrupted the positive flow of the first game. Boston returned immediately with arrogance, closing the fourth with a run of 27-6. In the 2nd period Ime Udoka’s team raises the quality and intensity of the game even more. The advantage even reaches +29 (68-39) with Tatum already at 20 points with 7/10 shooting. Heat canceled from the field. It is Butler with 16 points who pulls him in the 3rd quarter towards a courageous, but rather unlikely, comeback. The Celtics, in fact, do not disunite and respond guided by Smart (11 very heavy points) and by the defense. At the beginning of the 4th period, the +30 (103-73) also arrives, marking the 1-1 in the series well in advance.
You love me:Butler 29 (11/18, 1/3 of three, 6/8 tl), Vincent 14, Oladipo 14. Rebounds: Adebayo 9. Assist: Butler 3.
Boston:Tatum 27 (8/13, 4/6 of three, 7/7 tl), Smart 24, Brown 24. Rebounds: Smart 9. Assist: Smart 12.
May 20, 2022 (change May 20, 2022 | 07:25)
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