Out of the four teams left in the NBA playoffs, the Miami Heat could be considered the under dogs and possibly the most likely to get swept, but Jimmy Butler had other plans.
Jimmy Butler went for a nice 41 points in a competitive match up that saw the Heat down coming out of halftime. Eric Spoelstra is a great coach who make great adjustments. This was nothing short of the norm for Spoelstra. Coming out of halftime, the Heat outscored the Celtics 39-14.
The overall collapse in the third quarter was the difference in this game. Jason Tatum and Jalen Brown combined for 53 points with great contribution from Payton Prichard coming off the bench. Unfortunately, Grant Williams wasn’t able to give the Celtics the same production he had in the Celtics close out game of the Bucks.
Coming off a physical series, the Celtics still might be recovering. I expect game 2 for Boston in Miami to be just as physical.
As for the Miami Heat, they had five players in double figures. Tyler Hero was considered one of the x-factors in this series coming off the bench. He gave a smooth 18 points, 8 rebound, and 3 assists in 27 minutes.
The Heat looked well rested compared to the Celtics and it showed down the stretch. If Jimmy Butler is able to continue the production like last night, the Heat have a chance to capture the Eastern Conference Finals title.