The scene shifts to South Beach with the Miami Heat holding a two-zip lead over the Boston Celtics. Can they put a stranglehold on the series?
Catch the game tomorrow at 8:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Miami Heat (2-0)
Projected starting five:
- Gabe Vincent
- Max Strus
- Jimmy Butler
- Bam Adebayo
- Kevin Love
Another game, another gutsy Heat victory. It feels like they are due for a loss after the string of great Ws, but how can anyone comprehend that right now when the group is seemingly turning it on whenever they want to? On Saturday, they were down, 96-87, with 6:36 left, before finishing the game off with a 24-9 run to earn a 111-105 win. Some may blame Grant Williams for that, though, as Jimmy Butler went on ‘takeover’ mode after the Celtic pest decided to chirp.
Butler is all over the floor for the Heat in the series, averaging 31.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 4.5 steals per game thus far. He’s also back in Miami tomorrow so it’ll be interesting to see how much he can feed off the home crowd again. Bam Adebayo is showcasing versatility as well, posting 21.0 points 12.0 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game.
The undrafted guys are fabulous too, especially Caleb Martin as he is at 20 PPG on a smooth 63% shooting in two games. If he slows down, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, and Duncan Robinson can be there to pick up the slack. Veterans Kyle Lowry and Kevin Love would be there too.
AWAY: Boston Celtics (0-2)
Projected starting five:
- Derrick White
- Marcus Smart
- Jaylen Brown
- Jayson Tatum
- Al Horford
The Celtics lost another close game by squandering yet another double-digit lead. As good as they have been this season, such has been their trend all year. Home court doesn’t have much of an advantage of them too as they have now lost five of seven at Boston this postseason.
Jayson Tatum is putting up 32.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists so far, but he has compiled zero field goals with five turnovers in the fourth quarter in this series. Jaylen Brown is worse as he only has 19.0 PPG while shooting an abysmal 38.6% (17-for-44) with 4.0 turnovers per game. Al Horford joins Brown in that funk with 4.5 points on a 30.5% clip. The guard trio of Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, and Derrick White is bordering mediocre and okay-ish, and that wouldn’t cut it at this stage.
We’ll see how Tatum and Brown respond now that the sense of urgency is at a high. Maybe they’ll try to involve Robert Williams more? ‘Timelord’ is 11-for-11 from the field in the series for 13.5 points and 5.0 boards in 24.4 minutes of action.
Handicap: The Heat (+3.5) win.
Over/Under: The total goes over 214.