Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat suddenly can't stop the Boston Celtics’ high-powered offense in the last two games. Boston won in Miami on Tuesday and did it again in Game 5 on Thursday to put the Heat on their heels.
Adebayo had this to say about the Heat after back-to-back losses to the Celtics:
"Why would we lose confidence? When we started this journey, nobody believed in us. Everybody thought we were gonna be out in the first round, everybody thought we were gonna be out in the second round.
Now we're here, one game away [from going to the Finals]. For us, we've always had confidence and that's not gonna go away."
The Miami Heat have now decisively lost two close-out games. Game 5 was even more brutal than the last one they suffered at the hands of the Boston Celtics.
Boston, who could hardly hit a 3-pointer in the first three games, are back to their old deadly selves from behind the arc. The Celtics were already 8-15 from deep in the first quarter and 16-39 (41.0%) in the game.
The team that won the 3-point battle in this series has emerged as the winner. Miami took it in the first three games while Boston won the last two. The Celtics have won 95% of their games in the entire season, playoffs included, if they shoot at least 40%. Notably, Boston hit 41.5% of their threes in Games 4 and 5.
The Celtics are beating Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat not just on offense. Boston was more aggressive and active on defense and hustled like they’ve never done with their season on the line.
Boston’s defense forced Miami to 16 turnovers, which led to 27 points. It was the biggest statistical difference between the two teams that emphatically gave the win to the Celtics.
Jimmy Butler echoed the same confident tone as Bam Adebayo
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are the leaders of the Miami Heat. It wasn’t surprising that they had the same unwavering belief in what their team can do despite the consecutive losses.
Here’s Butler talking about the suddenly reeling Miami Heat:
"We just gotta play better. … Make it more difficult for them. They’re in a rhythm since the beginning of the game but we’re always going to stay positive knowing that we can and we will win this series. We’ll just have to close it out at home.”
Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler struggled right off the bat on the night. They combined for just 14 points in the first half on 5-16 shooting. If not for Duncan Robinson’s hot start, the Miami Heat would have been down by a much bigger margin early in the game.
Only Adebayo and Butler scored in double-figures for the Miami Heat among the starters. Coach Erik Spoelstra kept them on the bench for nearly the entire fourth quarter as the Boston Celtics kept them at bay.
Game 6 on Saturday will be Miami’s Game 7. If they can’t close out the Boston Celtics at home, they’re likely not getting it done on Boston’s home floor.
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