#Jimmy #Butler #points #ideally #throws #Miami #Boston
No time to hang out for the Celtics, on deck Sunday night for their Game 7 against the Bucks and already fighting the Heat two days later.
On the outside, with a great Jayson Tatum (21 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists before the break), things first went very well for Boston, which delivered an excellent first half, settling comfortably and logically in control (62-54 ). Except that the turn of the locker room was bloody for Ime Udoka’s men, devoured in all compartments of the game by Miami, during the third quarter (39-14).
And it was the infallible Jimmy Butler (17 points in the fourth and 27 in the second half) who was the executioner of the C’s. In a state of grace, the All-Star winger delivered an XXL performance on each side of the field, finally ending this Game 1 with an incredible stat line: 41 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks! !! All at 12/19 shooting and 17/18 free throws, in 41 minutes…
Enough for the Florida franchise, still undefeated at home in these playoffs, to take control of this series and calmly approach Game 2, scheduled for Thursday night.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
— A one-sided third quarter. What an incredible change. Leading 62-54 at halftime, the Celtics collapsed upon returning from the locker room, conceding… 39-14 in twelve minutes! Returning with better intentions, the Heat walked their visitors on both ends of the floor, inflicting a 22-2 “run” on them and limiting them to 0 baskets for… seven minutes! Led by Jimmy Butler, Gabe Vincent and Bam Adebayo, Miami completely reversed the trend, racking up fast breaks, interceptions and baskets, far and wide. Without envy, Boston lost its footing and never managed to turn back.
— Jimmy Butler is on a mission. “Bubble” or not “bubble”, the All-Star winger is part of the category of the very big, capable of sublimating in big games. You just have to see his performance tonight to be convinced. Omnipresent, in the goal, in the defense, in the creation or in the rebound, he martyred anyone vis-à-vis him, on each side of the field. The type of performance that marks the spirits, and does not retain surtout are three large four-quarters (17 points), which allows Miami to reverse Game 1. In full confidence, “Jimmy Buckets” is a great pleasure to pour the eyes.
— A two-faced Jayson Tatum. Statistically, the All-Star winger clearly got the job done (29 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals). The problem is that he compiled three-quarters of his stats before the break and disappeared on his way back from the locker room. He in the image, finally, of almost all of his team. Radiant in the first half, alternating beautifully between scoring and distribution as he aggressively circled, he then faded away. Lacking energy and unable to calm the game down, he racked up stupid and avoidable turnovers (7 total!), reviving Miami, who were thus able to unfold their game in transition.
— the absences. Kyle Lowry on one side, but also (and above all) Marcus Smart and Al Horford on the other. Neither team was complete in Game 1, between Lowry’s hamstring issues in Miami and Smart and Horford’s foot issues or Covid-19 in Boston. That didn’t stop the Heat and Celtics from putting on a show for the FTX Arena audience, but it would be nice to see the top two teams in the Eastern Conference challenge each other in this conference finals. Which shouldn’t be the case during Game 2 either…
✅ gabe vincent. If Miami still hasn’t lost a game without Kyle Lowry this playoff campaign, it’s mostly because Vincent is performing perfectly on the Florida baseline. A true ball of energy, ready to launch himself on all the balls and flesh out science, for the good of his team, he is also capable of doing a lot of damage in attack, with his quality of shot. Witness his 17 points planted last night (5/10 shooting, including 3/7 from far), which came mostly after the break, to knock out the Celtics when they were on the hard and on the ropes.
✅ Robert Williams. Back in the five, the ‘Lord of Time’ did not miss his reunion with the competition. Author of a very good first half, in the absence of Al Horford, he compiled 18 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in 28 minutes (6/8 shooting and 6/7 free throws). His size and physical power initially hurt Bam Adebayo and the Heat, unable to slow him down or prevent Jayson Tatum et al from serving him below the circle. After his center, the Celtics also massacred the Heat in the paint, before the break (42 points!). Until this failed and ultimately fatal comeback from the locker room…
✅ Tyler Herro. On the run so far, the 2022 Sixth Man of the Year might as well have launched his playoffs with this Game 1. Coming off the bench, he’s the one who kept the Heat from falling far behind on the scoreboard. The first half. Aggressive and inspired by scoring, especially when it came to pushing the ball on the counterattack or responding to Jayson Tatum’s arabesques, Herro (18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists) thus delivered one of his best games of the spring. It’s up to him to repeat such a performance on Thursday night, during Game 2.
✅ payton pritchard. In this role as a second back who must be ready to draw as soon as he receives the ball and has a little space in front of him, Pritchard excels. In any case, much more so than Dennis Schröder, who had been called upon to occupy this role for a long time before his departure from Massachusetts. And Brad Stevens was right to make room for his pocket “combo-shooting guard”, author of 18 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in this Game 1. Without Marcus Smart, he spent 30 minutes on the ground and, despite his size that exposes him in defense, he made a strong impression in attack, where he plays with confidence, thanks in particular to his shooting quality.
⛔ jaylen brown. His few successful 3-pointers in the last act, when the gap was already large, should not hide that the All-Star’s defense did not hold his range tonight. Because, although he finished with 24 points (and 10 rebounds) on the clock, he was involved in three quarters. Between poor ball decisions, forced shots and a lack of aggression, he didn’t behave like the Jayson Tatum lieutenant he’s supposed to be. In the hard part we expect more regularity from him and above all a face similar to the one shown in the last twelve minutes of the match.
⛔ Miami and its paint protection. Before everything was unlocked after the break, the Heat suffered for a long time. Obviously something that Erik Spoelstra will not fail to remind the players of him, because his first period was not at the level of a Finals contender. Especially in terms of their home defense, because Boston has long had fun in the Florida racket. Bam Adebayo regularly sent off for his vis-à-vis, Miami took on water near the circle, to the point of conceding 42 units in this area of the field. Alert without gravity, but alert nonetheless.
game 2still in Miami, on the night from Thursday to Friday (02:30).