In a turbulent Game 4, the Miami Heat faced off against the Boston Celtics in the TD Garden. The Heat have a 2-1 lead in the series and are looking to extend their lead before going to their homecourt where they will enjoy a major advantage. The Celtics are focused on tying the series before going for Game 5. Despite suffering injuries in Game 3, Jimmy Butler and Jayson Tatum will be playing in this game for their teams. Sadly Marcus Smart isn’t on the same boat as he had to rest.
The Boston Celtics went with their starting lineup of Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford and Robert Williams III. The Miami Heat started with Kyle Lowry, Max Strus, Jimmy Butler, PJ Tucker and Bam Adebayo.
As soon as the referee blew the whistle signaling the opening tip, the Boston Celtics hit the floor running. They brought out their guns in the offensive end as they not only scored the first points of the game but proceeded to go on an 18-1 run. Mainly led by Jayson Tatum and Derrick White, the Celtics were toying with the Heat as they could not stop the Celtics’ hammering.
All of the starters in the Heat seem to be off their game as they were shooting abysmally from the field. Surely, the Celtics were contesting their shots but they were missing open looks as well. It was after Victor Oladipo hit the floor that the Heat got some points on the scoreboard in the 1st quarter.
In the 2nd quarter, the Heat were doing a bit well. Mainly Oladipo was carrying the offense as he came off the bench. He went head-to-head with Jayson Tatum who was also in an offensive rive of his own. Alas for the Heat, none of the other players were stepping up as the Celtics were and the score gap widened pretty quickly. The Celtics amassed a huge lead in the 1st half with a scoreline of 57-33.
The 3rd quarter was a showdown of defenses between the 2 teams. The ball was moving up and down the court at a high pace but the finishing was as horrendous for both teams. They were rushing their shots and could not make it count.
Although the Celtics were in the lead, they were getting swept in the pace of their opponents which made them chuck up some important shots but that did not affect the outcome as much considering the Heat’s poor shooting. Butler, Lowry and Adebayo, all were a no show in the offensive end as they were playing like they forgot how to play ball.
In the 4th quarter, the Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra decided to rest the starters and he sent out the bench players to play. They indeed did a better job of attacking and defending at the same time. It did not look as smooth as the starters but they were making their shots. However, the Celtics 20 point lead was too big to be overcome. They ultimately fell as the referee blew the whistle.
Jayson Tatum led both teams in scoring as he put up 31 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks. Payton Pritchard came off the bench to follow up with 14 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and a block. Derrick White had a decent game as he put up 13 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and a block. Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams scored 12 points each.
The Miami Heat starters scored a total of 18 points combined. Victor Oladipo was the main leader as he came off the bench to score 23 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Duncan Robinson put up 14 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals with 50% shooting from 3-point range. Caleb Martin put up 12 points, 6 rebounds and an assist.
Takeaways from Game 4
The Boston Celtics completely destroyed the Miami Heat, claiming Game 4 with a scoreline of 102-82. They have tied the series 2-2 and now have the momentum of the series in their hands. Jayson Tatum’s stellar performance did not make it seem like he had injured his shoulders the other night.
For the Heat, they had their worst performance in the Playoffs so far. This was the worst possible timing to have such a performance especially when the trip to the NBA Finals is on the line. The starters having this kind of performance is unacceptable. It is time to change their lineup for the next game as their opponents have a high chance of winning the next 2 games and the series. Let’s see what they do!