The Conference finals have finally commenced and we are moving towards Game 1 of the matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. This matchup will showcase the bout between two of the most skilled defense in the league. On one side, the Celtics have defeated 2 heavy favorites in the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks while the Heat took care of the Hawks and the 76ers to reach that stage. With some history associated between the two teams the fans were in for a thriller.
The Miami Heat went with their starting lineup of Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Jimmy Butler, PJ Tucker and Bam Adebayo. The Boston Celtics started with Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Grant Williams and Robert Williams III.
Filled with excitement, the opening tip saw the Celtics control the possession and immediately going on a 7-0 run. The Heat snapped the streak with a fadeaway from Bam Adebayo but the Celtics took the momentum of the quarter and went on the attack. Jayson Tatum and Robert Williams were the main attackers who put up a considerable amount of points for the Celtics.
The Heat were having a rough time scoring the basket and no one was taking the initiative. The 2nd quarter was more horrendous defensively for the Heat as the Celtics were taking no prisoners. Jayson Tatum was going rampant on the offensive end. On defense, the Celtics were stifling the Heat attackers and it seemed like the Heat were way out of their element. The Celtics took the lead in the 1st half with a score of 62-54.
Once the 3rd quarter started, the Heat looked like a completely different team. They were starting their offense with their defensive effort. The Celtics turned the ball over 8 times in that quarter alone. They were doubling Jayson Tatum and they did not allow him to go to work as he did in the 1st half.
On the offensive end, Jimmy Butler took charge as he went to work. He drove the ball to the basket and drew tons of fouls. Gabe Vincent chimed in as well with a couple of 3s. They completely outscored the Celtics in the quarter and had built up a 17 point lead. None of the Celtics were able to attack at will as the Heat defense tightened so hard on them that they choked and started to rush their shots.
In the 4th quarter, Jaylen Brown took charge of the Celtics offense and wanted to will them back into the game but Butler would not allow that. He shot extremely well and carried the Heat’ offense. To the dismay of Brown and the Celtics, the Heat were not going to give up on the lead. The Celtics continued to press but it proved futile as the final buzzer sounded.
Jimmy Butler continues to show who is boss as he led both teams in scoring with 41 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks. Tyler Herro was second in command with 18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. Gabe Vincent put up 17 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks.
For The Celtics, Jayson Tatum led them in scoring with 29 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and a block. But he also had 7 turnover! Jaylen Brown put up a double-double of 24 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. Payton Pritchard and Robert Williams III put up 18 points each.
Takeaways from Game 1
The Miami Heat took Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals with a scoreline of 118-107. They are now 3 wins away from reaching the Finals. The Celtics need to think of a way to continue scoring despite the Heat defense. Having one bad quarter affected the entire game. Of course Ime Udoka will make those necessary changes before moving on to Game 2.