Celtics vs. Heat, Round 3 Discussion

Who you got?


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benhogan

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I think this ends in a very ugly fashion and this team is right back where they were a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, and four years ago. Horford is probably on his last legs and this may be his last shot at a ring.

Ime may turn out to be an all-time great coach, but he gives the players on this team too much rope and it needs to stop ASAP. Pop wouldn't stand for this kind of play. Ime needs to channel his inner Pop, even if it means pissing off some of the players.
Win or Lose the Miami series, these Celtics have an extremely bright future.

The players, roster construction, age curves, contract situations, coaching and front office decision makers are in a much better place than at any point over the last 4yrs.

Take a deep breath, try to enjoy Game 7 while 27 other NBA fan bases jealously watch our Celtics Sunday night.
 

NomarsFool

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The one caveat is Horford. He’s been super key to the Celtics’ success and I feel like he’s playing on borrowed time. “There’s not a lot of humans that can do that” at his age in the NBA.
 

BigSoxFan

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The one caveat is Horford. He’s been super key to the Celtics’ success and I feel like he’s playing on borrowed time. “There’s not a lot of humans that can do that” at his age in the NBA.
Agreed. It’s easy to look at this roster and assume they’ll be back but Horford has been so good and he’s at the age where there is pretty rapid decline. TL is another guy whose future availability is completely in question. We all know Theis isn’t the answer for more than a modest role. What Horford does as a big man is incredibly difficult to replace. I mean, we didn’t replace it after he left until…we brought him back.

Clearly, finding another big to groom in this role is going to occupy most of Brad’s time. Everything else is pretty much in place.
 

BaseballJones

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Win or Lose the Miami series, these Celtics have an extremely bright future.

The players, roster construction, age curves, contract situations, coaching and front office decision makers are in a much better place than at any point over the last 4yrs.

Take a deep breath, try to enjoy Game 7 while 27 other NBA fan bases jealously watch our Celtics Sunday night.
Totally agree. But the NBA is littered with teams with bright futures that never won anything. So when you have a chance to win it, you don't want to let it go in the potentially false hope that there will be more chances down the road.
 

NomarsFool

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There was an interesting bit on 98.5 yesterday about all the dynamic young duos who looked poised for a reign of greatness only to never make it back to the Finals.

We are just fans, so what we think doesn’t really matter, but I hope Ime and staff are fully impressing upon these guys to seize the moment because the evidence suggests they actually may not get another chance, even though that probably seems ridiculous when you are 24-25 and feel invincible.
 

BigSoxFan

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There was an interesting bit on 98.5 yesterday about all the dynamic young duos who looked poised for a reign of greatness only to never make it back to the Finals.

We are just fans, so what we think doesn’t really matter, but I hope Ime and staff are fully impressing upon these guys to seize the moment because the evidence suggests they actually may not get another chance, even though that probably seems ridiculous when you are 24-25 and feel invincible.
Just look at OKC. They made it in 2012 with a young Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, and Harden. Surely they would be going to countless NBA Finals. Never got back and then the band broke up.

The Celtics’ championship window will remain open even if they lose but you just never know. Butler will be playing like his hair is on fire because he knows this is likely it for him. We need to match that intensity.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Totally agree. But the NBA is littered with teams with bright futures that never won anything. So when you have a chance to win it, you don't want to let it go in the potentially false hope that there will be more chances down the road.
On the face of this, I agree. But man in early January I was just ready to be done with the season and waiting to see what Stevens did to the core of the team. To be in a position to have this discussion about "not letting the opportunity go by" is fantastic and I will not be upset regardless of how this ends. Only 1 team can win the title every year, and to put all your worth as a team and individual players on that achievement which is damn tough to begin with and subject to some other player not missing a shot, the bounce of a basketball, etc? You could never be happy unless you go on a Jordan or Brady-esque run.
 

BaseballJones

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Or Philly. One of the best players in the NBA in Embiid. A seemingly bright star in Simmons. Solid third guy in Tobias Harris. Young stud athletes like Thybulle. Hell, they even had a solid vet presence in Al Horford a couple of years. Haven't done diddly squat.
 

BaseballJones

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On the face of this, I agree. But man in early January I was just ready to be done with the season and waiting to see what Stevens did to the core of the team. To be in a position to have this discussion about "not letting the opportunity go by" is fantastic and I will not be upset regardless of how this ends. Only 1 team can win the title every year, and to put all your worth as a team and individual players on that achievement which is damn tough to begin with and subject to some other player not missing a shot, the bounce of a basketball, etc? You could never be happy unless you go on a Jordan or Brady-esque run.
I agree with you. It's really really hard to win an NBA (or any other) championship, and if the ONLY thing we ever cared about was the title, we'd miss out on SO MUCH awesome entertainment along the way. It's not JUST the destination; it's the journey too. And it's been a hell of a journey this year. And I *do* think their future is bright.

But I also hope THEY recognize that this might be their best shot at a title - I'm sure Al does - and leave it all out there tonight. If they give it their very best and still lose, that's fine.
 
Jan 22, 2006
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I agree with you. It's really really hard to win an NBA (or any other) championship, and if the ONLY thing we ever cared about was the title, we'd miss out on SO MUCH awesome entertainment along the way. It's not JUST the destination; it's the journey too. And it's been a hell of a journey this year. And I *do* think their future is bright.

But I also hope THEY recognize that this might be their best shot at a title - I'm sure Al does - and leave it all out there tonight. If they give it their very best and still lose, that's fine.
Journey before destination.
Life before death.
Strength before weakness.

Where my Kaladin stans at?
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Or Philly. One of the best players in the NBA in Embiid. A seemingly bright star in Simmons. Solid third guy in Tobias Harris. Young stud athletes like Thybulle. Hell, they even had a solid vet presence in Al Horford a couple of years. Haven't done diddly squat.
(Sorry, Philly digression:)
Eh Philly is not in the same ballpark as OKC mentioned above and now Boston. Have never even made a conference final: OKC made several conference finals and got to the NBA Finals, Boston has been in the conference finals 3 times since the start of Jaylen Brown's and Embiid's careers actually started (drafted in 2014 but missed 2 full seasons). Until maybe the next year or two, Philly is sadly at the level of the '80s era Atlanta Hawks right now in the category of 'Damn, they never made a conference final?' The difference being Embiid being a better player at his peak than Dominique.
 

Cesar Crespo

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(Sorry, Philly digression:)
Eh Philly is not in the same ballpark as OKC mentioned above and now Boston. Have never even made a conference final: OKC made several conference finals and got to the NBA Finals, Boston has been in the conference finals 3 times since the start of Jaylen Brown's and Embiid's careers actually started (drafted in 2014 but missed 2 full seasons). Until maybe the next year or two, Philly is sadly at the level of the '80s era Atlanta Hawks right now in the category of 'Damn, they never made a conference final?' The difference being Embiid being a better player at his peak than Dominique.
I guess that's one way of looking at it. Brown and Tatum didn't join lottery bound teams. Those prior ECF shouldn't really be a check mark for Brown and Tatum. They were not leading the team.

This has only been Tatum's (and Brown) team for 2 seasons. I guess one could argue 3rd.

OKC didn't start with Al Horford, Gordon Hayward, KI, Kemba Walker etc. They drafted everyone and started from the bottom. Tatum and Brown started near the top.

edit: It's the "process" vs a playoff team with 3 top picks.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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The one caveat is Horford. He’s been super key to the Celtics’ success and I feel like he’s playing on borrowed time. “There’s not a lot of humans that can do that” at his age in the NBA.
He's younger than PJ Tucker who's playing a very key role in this series, so not out of the realm of possibility that he's got a couple of good years left in the tank.
 

sezwho

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He's younger than PJ Tucker who's playing a very key role in this series, so not out of the realm of possibility that he's got a couple of good years left in the tank.
Al’s been 29-31mpg the last five years, with a drop to 27 for OKC. I also think not all minutes are created equal, and the ones banging on Embiid for example weigh alittle heavier. Either way, it seems like a good idea to not lean as heavily on him through the regular season to preserve whatever he has left.
 

Ed Hillel

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Right now, the championship pedigree moving forward hinges on Timelord’s and Smart’s longterm health. So…let’s go ahead and win the whole thing right now, shall we?
 

benhogan

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(Sorry, Philly digression:)
Eh Philly is not in the same ballpark as OKC mentioned above and now Boston. Have never even made a conference final: OKC made several conference finals and got to the NBA Finals, Boston has been in the conference finals 3 times since the start of Jaylen Brown's and Embiid's careers actually started (drafted in 2014 but missed 2 full seasons). Until maybe the next year or two, Philly is sadly at the level of the '80s era Atlanta Hawks right now in the category of 'Damn, they never made a conference final?' The difference being Embiid being a better player at his peak than Dominique.
Perfectly put.

Comparing the recent 76ers roster, contract situations, coaching, front office, etc to the Celtics is off. These C's are younger/healthier, better constructed, improving and in much better hands with IME/Brad than Doc/Brand
 

Steve Dillard

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One team's going to make shots, one team isn't. If Stus/Lowrey and Butler hit bail out moving threes, it will be next to impossible.
 

BaseballJones

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Perfectly put.

Comparing the recent 76ers roster, contract situations, coaching, front office, etc to the Celtics is off. These C's are younger/healthier, better constructed, improving and in much better hands with IME/Brad than Doc/Brand
Sigh. It wasn't to say the situations are equal. It's just that Philly has had some talented young stars, with some added quality veterans, and have thought that their future was really bright, and they haven't won diddly squat.
 

benhogan

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Sigh. It wasn't to say the situations are equal. It's just that Philly has had some talented young stars, with some added quality veterans, and have thought that their future was really bright, and they haven't won diddly squat.
Bringing up the 76ers before a Game7 is always going to tweak long-term Celtic fans. We have the Andrew Toney '82 scars to prove it :eek:

Alas, I don't think the 2019-20 76er team was in the same "potential" zip code as these Celtics'. The 76ers front office had already made numerous boneheaded moves from trades/draft picks to be skeptical of their long-term future. Embiid/Simmon's health/fit was always questionable. Tobias Harris was a bad trade and a worse signing. Jimmy Butler immediately left because he didn't like their culture. At the height of 76er optimism, the summer of the Horford signing, quickly faded when they could never make that work. Al was dumped less than a year later. Bubble Celtics destroyed them in Round 1.

OKC with KD, Russ, Harden, and Ibaka is somewhat similar to the present-day Celtics. If Wyc gets cheap, like OKC did, that will hurt this 5yr window we're looking at here.

ALSO people are making it sound like the C's don't understand the opportunity they have today. I'm positive they do. It's why they have won every game after a loss in the playoffs and played .700 basketball in the 2nd half of this season. Confident they win today (greater than a coin toss) and see this Celtic team improving over the next few seasons.
 
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Euclis20

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Bringing up the 76ers before a Game7 is always going to tweak long-term Celtic fans. We have the Andrew Toney '82 scars to prove it :eek:

Alas, I don't think the 2019-20 76er team was in the same "potential" zip code as these Celtics'. The 76ers front office had already made numerous boneheaded moves from trades/draft picks to be skeptical of their long-term future. Embiid/Simmon's health/fit was always questionable. Tobias Harris was a bad signing when the ink dried. Jimmy Butler immediately left because he didn't like their culture. At the height of 76er optimism, the summer of the Horford signing, quickly faded when they could never make that work and dumped Al less than a year later. Bubble Celtics destroyed them in Round 1.

OKC with KD, Russ, Harden, and Ibaka is somewhat similar to the present-day Celtics. If Wyc gets cheap, like OKC did, that will hurt this 5yr window we're looking at here.

ALSO people are making it sound like the C's don't understand the opportunity they have here. I'm positive they do. It's why they have won every game after a loss in the playoffs and played .700 basketball in the 2nd half of this season. Confident they win today (greater than a coin toss) and see this Celtic team improving over the next few seasons.
Celtics are 11-1 following a loss over the last 4 months. Of course that 1 loss was @ Miami, but still impressive the way this team has almost always bounced back.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Totally agree. But the NBA is littered with teams with bright futures that never won anything. So when you have a chance to win it, you don't want to let it go in the potentially false hope that there will be more chances down the road.
True but how many of those teams had not one but two Top 20-25 players in the league age 25 or less with one of them making leap toward the Top-5? That is a short list.
 

reggiecleveland

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My hope is banged up Jimmy used his last bullets to get to game 7. You can't ask anybody to keep doing that two games in a row.
Need a Celtic other than Tatum, Brown to have a big game.
Most of all need Smart to be a reasonable facsimile of himself.
 

BaseballJones

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True but how many of those teams had not one but two Top 20-25 players in the league age 25 or less with one of them making leap toward the Top-5? That is a short list.
Philly with Embiid and Simmons. Not sure the ages but they’re in that category.

Of course Simmons isn’t there anymore but that’s part of the point I guess.
 

128

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The C's were far from flawless, but to go on the road and never trail in a Game 7 win over the East's No. 1 seed is no small feat. Not to mention winning three road games in the Eastern Conference finals.
 

reggiecleveland

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My hope is banged up Jimmy used his last bullets to get to game 7. You can't ask anybody to keep doing that two games in a row.
Need a Celtic other than Tatum, Brown to have a big game.
Most of all need Smart to be a reasonable facsimile of himself.
I think he was.
Man Jimmy still went down blazing though. Glas with the Cletics tight as a drum he decided to take the 70% chance of losing rather than the 50-60% chance of OT there.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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8 first half free throw misses and the overturned Strus three ended up being massive. Can't say I've ever seen a three get completely wiped of the board minutes later.
 

djbayko

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BTW, the Celtics just completed their Eastern Conference revenge tour, beating the last 3 teams - Nets, Bucks, Heat - to bounce them from the playoffs.

Edit: Not only that, but they beat each team in the same round they were eliminated in. Forgot about that.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Incredible. Bottom line, no part of this game was a picasso, but NBA rules don't require a picasso, just a win. And the Celtics did that and are on to the finals to seek banner #18.

This looked for a bit like it was in the bag, and then like it was going to be a spectacular choke job, but in the end the Celtics hung on.

With 3:35 to go in the game, Marcus Smart hit a pair of free throws to put the Celtics up 13. 13! Over the next 3:24, Miami ran off 11 straight points. Not all of this looked as bad as that sounds, the Celtics were running decent offensive possessions that unfortunately ended with Smart having to take a late clock three. They need to work on that. Anyway, Smart got fouled with 11 seconds left, hit both, the Heat missed a couple of threes, and Boston is going to the finals.

The Larry Bird trophy to Jayson Tatum.

Miami gave them hell, but the Celtics competed right down to the wire.

There were times when it didn't look great. The Celtics played a terrific first quarter and held serve through most of the second before their typical Celtic let down allowed Miami to cut what was once a 15 point lead down to 6. I wonder if the Celtics were just done, but they hung in and increased their lead by a point in the third. Then, in the 4th, after Miami cut the lead to 3 right out of the gate, the Celtics defense locked in and played some of the best defense they have played all playoffs. From 82-79, the Celtics went on an 16-6 run, keyed by rebounding, consecutive blocks by Al and Jaylen, etc.

It looked in the bag and then the Heat ran off 11 straight: Lowry jumper, (Smart missed 12 footer), Strus dunk, (Smart missed 3, Horford rebound, Smart missed 3), Heat miss, (Grant turnover), Oladipo layup (Smart missed 3), Lowry layup, (Brown offesive foul), Strus three.

Note that Heat comeback was 5 points from Strus, 4 points from Lowry, 2 from Oladipo. Zero from Bam and Butler - each went 0-1 during the 11-0 run. Clearly, the Celtics defense focused on not letting those 2 guys beat them. The Butler miss was a running three with 19 seconds left - not his shot, though the Heat would have gone up one had he hit it.

This was a bit of a weird game for the Celtics personnel wise.

White, so excellent in game 6, was off in this one. His shot was falling early but nothing else was working and eventually even the shot went. In 19 minutes, 3-8 for 8 points, 3 rebounds, an assist, a block, and 3 turnovers - including 2 stupid pass live ball tunrovers. White left after receiving a blow to the head and didn;t return. Hope he is OK.

Rob played his worst game in recent memory - the injury must really have bothered him. 15 minutes, 2 points, 3 rebounds, an assist and a turnover.

The Celtics had only 13 turnovers, several of which were offensive fouls (ie not bad live ball ones). Miami had only 7 offensive rebounds.

Tatum, Brown, and Smart each did some really good things and had their negative moments. In the end, it was enough.

As bad as losing this game would have felt if Mami had completed their comeback, I don't think was quite as bad (from a quality of Celtics play standpoint) as it seemed. Miami got every bounce.
 

Eddie Jurak

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8 first half free throw misses and the overturned Strus three ended up being massive. Can't say I've ever seen a three get completely wiped of the board minutes later.
I've seen it once before. I don't know how I feel about that use of replay. I'll take it tonight though.
 

chilidawg

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With 3:35 to go in the game, Marcus Smart hit a pair of free throws to put the Celtics up 13. 13! Over the next 3:24, Miami ran off 11 straight points. Not all of this looked as bad as that sounds, the Celtics were running decent offensive possessions that unfortunately ended with Smart having to take a late clock three. They need to work on that. Anyway, Smart got fouled with 11 seconds left, hit both, the Heat missed a couple of threes, and Boston is going to the finals.
The late clock Smart 3's were wide open looks and good offense. He just bricked em. Kudos to him for stepping up and confidently making the 2 free throws at the end to get it back to 4.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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It looked in the bag and then the Heat ran off 11 straight: Lowry jumper, (Smart missed 12 footer), Strus dunk, (Smart missed 3, Horford rebound, Smart missed 3), Heat miss, (Grant turnover), Oladipo layup (Smart missed 3), Lowry layup, (Brown offesive foul), Strus three.

* * * *

Rob played his worst game in recent memory - the injury must really have bothered him. 15 minutes, 2 points, 3 rebounds, an assist and a turnover.
All of Smart's 3P down the stretch were wide open. They were great looks. The 3rd one Smart definitely was trying to guide it.

Rob was clearly hurt and not moving great. He gutted out his time on the court. Hope he get Butler-esque treatment on his knee.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Smart has to take the ball there, though I did wonder on the second and third--given clock situation--whether attacking the rim made more sense as he clearly wasn't on shooting-wise. But he has to make a play, he can't pass it off again. More will drop in the Finals, I hope and expect
 

Eddie Jurak

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The late clock Smart 3's were wide open looks and good offense. He just bricked em. Kudos to him for stepping up and confidently making the 2 free throws at the end to get it back to 4.
All of Smart's 3P down the stretch were wide open. They were great looks. The 3rd one Smart definitely was trying to guide it.

Rob was clearly hurt and not moving great. He gutted out his time on the court. Hope he get Butler-esque treatment on his knee.
The Smart looks at the end we’re good, but at some point do you decide you have to do something else rather than have Tatum and Brown watch the team lose as Smart Brock’s threes. Maybe yes - it worked for them here.
 

chilidawg

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The Smart looks at the end we’re good, but at some point do you decide you have to do something else rather than have Tatum and Brown watch the team lose as Smart Brock’s threes. Maybe yes - it worked for them here.
All year long the emphasis has been on making the extra pass and running good offense. They stuck with it there which I think is actually encouraging .
 

Red Averages

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Up 9 with 2 min left, if Smart turns down wide open threes he should be cut and sued for fraud to reclaim his contract.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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The late clock Smart 3's were wide open looks and good offense. He just bricked em. Kudos to him for stepping up and confidently making the 2 free throws at the end to get it back to 4.
I agree with this 100%. They were wide open, and you’re probably not getting a better look for Tatum or Brown there. He makes at least one of those more often than not.
 

dhellers

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Incredible. Bottom line, no part of this game was a picasso, but NBA rules don't require a picasso, just a win. And the Celtics did that and are on to the finals to seek banner #18.

This looked for a bit like it was in the bag, and then like it was going to be a spectacular choke job, but in the end the Celtics hung on.

With 3:35 to go in the game, Marcus Smart hit a pair of free throws to put the Celtics up 13. 13! Over the next 3:24, Miami ran off 11 straight points. Not all of this looked as bad as that sounds, the Celtics were running decent offensive possessions that unfortunately ended with Smart having to take a late clock three. They need to work on that. Anyway, Smart got fouled with 11 seconds left, hit both, the Heat missed a couple of threes, and Boston is going to the finals.

The Larry Bird trophy to Jayson Tatum.

Miami gave them hell, but the Celtics competed right down to the wire.

There were times when it didn't look great. The Celtics played a terrific first quarter and held serve through most of the second before their typical Celtic let down allowed Miami to cut what was once a 15 point lead down to 6. I wonder if the Celtics were just done, but they hung in and increased their lead by a point in the third. Then, in the 4th, after Miami cut the lead to 3 right out of the gate, the Celtics defense locked in and played some of the best defense they have played all playoffs. From 82-79, the Celtics went on an 16-6 run, keyed by rebounding, consecutive blocks by Al and Jaylen, etc.

It looked in the bag and then the Heat ran off 11 straight: Lowry jumper, (Smart missed 12 footer), Strus dunk, (Smart missed 3, Horford rebound, Smart missed 3), Heat miss, (Grant turnover), Oladipo layup (Smart missed 3), Lowry layup, (Brown offesive foul), Strus three.

Note that Heat comeback was 5 points from Strus, 4 points from Lowry, 2 from Oladipo. Zero from Bam and Butler - each went 0-1 during the 11-0 run. Clearly, the Celtics defense focused on not letting those 2 guys beat them. The Butler miss was a running three with 19 seconds left - not his shot, though the Heat would have gone up one had he hit it.

This was a bit of a weird game for the Celtics personnel wise.

White, so excellent in game 6, was off in this one. His shot was falling early but nothing else was working and eventually even the shot went. In 19 minutes, 3-8 for 8 points, 3 rebounds, an assist, a block, and 3 turnovers - including 2 stupid pass live ball tunrovers. White left after receiving a blow to the head and didn;t return. Hope he is OK.

Rob played his worst game in recent memory - the injury must really have bothered him. 15 minutes, 2 points, 3 rebounds, an assist and a turnover.

The Celtics had only 13 turnovers, several of which were offensive fouls (ie not bad live ball ones). Miami had only 7 offensive rebounds.

Tatum, Brown, and Smart each did some really good things and had their negative moments. In the end, it was enough.

As bad as losing this game would have felt if Mami had completed their comeback, I don't think was quite as bad (from a quality of Celtics play standpoint) as it seemed. Miami got every bounce.
The defensive stretch in the 4th quarter (before they went into coast mode) was lead by Al. He wasn't going to let anything cheap happen, especially on the boards. I get why JT gets the series MVP, but other than game 6 Al was more than solid.
 

Red Averages

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The Celtics never trailed in Game 7, on the road, with a still young team. That’s wildly impressive.