The Miami Heat are so close to the NBA Finals.
All they need is one more win, but that one win can prove to be difficult to get against the desperate Boston Celtics, who will give it all they’ve got in Game 5.
Will the Heat finish the job in five games? Or, will the Celtics extend the series? Catch this game live on September 25 at 8:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: #3 Boston Celtics (1-3)
The Celtics don’t need Marcus Smart to fly into a rage again to wake up the team. After losing in Game 4, 112-109, the Celtics can’t afford any more misstep — or another inconsistent performance from their best player, Jayson Tatum.
The former Duke Blue Devil went 0-of-6 in the first half of Game 4 then came out firing in the second half, where he scored all of his 28 points.
As the Celtics’ primary option on offense, Tatum has to click right away to prevent inconsistent shooters like Smart from taking things into their hands offensively. Smart shot 3-of-12 and ended up with 10 points in Game 4, and while he had 11 assists, those seven shots he missed from long range dragged Boston down.
Speaking of things that slowed down Boston, the team committed 19 turnovers in that loss, which were converted by Miami to 17 points. Another thing the Celtics need to address is how to keep up with Bam Adebayo. The Heat’s big man has been having his way in this series.
Perhaps the Celtics have to attack and put Adebayo in early foul trouble, which could destabilize Miami’s play on both ends of the floor.
ROAD TEAM: #5 Miami Heat (3-1)
Sure, Tyler Herro got all the highlight exposure after exploding for 37 points in Game 4. But he’s not the biggest problem for Boston. That would be Bam Adebayo, another Kentucky product, who’s dominating in this series.
Adebayo scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the last game, while also shooting 7-of-11 from the floor. Over the last four games, Adebayo averaged 21.5 points on 60 FG%, 11.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. He’s also leading the Heat with a +7.3 plus/minus rating.
The Celtics simply don’t have a player who has the right mix of strength, size, athleticism, and talent to match up with Adebayo.
With youngsters like Herro and Adebayo playing like veterans and veterans in Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic leading the way, Miami is poised to end this tomorrow, though, Boston is too proud of a team to just fold up and make things easy for the Heat. If the Heat could get a lead early and continue to frustrate the Celtics defensively, don’t be surprised if Miami ends this series in five games.
Tyler Herro is not going to have the same success on offense, but Duncan Robinson, who went just 0-of-5 from deep in Game 4, will find his stroke and hit his shots in Game 5.
The Celtics will keep this game close, but Miami will take control late in the fourth and win to the tune of a 110-106 score.