• Full Coverage: Eastern Conference Finals
Boston – If after Game 5 of this Eastern Conference Finals someone gets on the podium and starts complaining that his team was embarrassed last time and wanted more “it”, pull his mic. That boring story isn’t enough anymore.
Miami manager Erik Spoelstra said “I didn’t want my team to play harder or do better with a more satisfying result in the important Eastern Conference Finals,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. said.
Skip that story and focus on the five implications of the Celtics’ 102-82 win over the Heat in Game 4 at TD Gardens on Monday night and a 2-2 draw in their best-of-seven series.
1. This Series Gets Drunk
If the NBA playoff series goes to 2-2 and turns into a best-of-three system, you’d think something irritating happened. Last minute heroes. It could be a buzzer-beater or a late win with a major defensive stop.
Well, it’s not this series.
Here’s a recap of just how weird and biased the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals have been in a balanced way so far.
• One team or the other has a big lead in each game. Heat finished 20th in Game 1, Celtics ranked 34th in Game 2, Miami ranked 26th in Game 3 and Boston ranked 32nd in Game 4. If you tilt it back and forth, you might think someone is seasick. about now
• As a result, there are few lead changes or connections. In fact, in games 3 and 4 over the last 144 minutes, there has been only one each and none at all.
• Boston missed 26 of their 3-point attempts on Monday and are 18 points ahead of Miami (14 of 36). Still, they couldn’t decide the match with 20 wins.
• Miami’s starting lineup was only 7 hits and 18 runs in 36 at-bats. According to ESPN stats, 18 points was the lowest score of five starts in a playoff game since the NBA began separating starters from bench players in 1970-71.
• The last single-player game of the last two minutes of this postseason was on May 11, Game 5 between Boston and Milwaukee. So Heat and Celtics join the all-or-nothing trend.
• Because of the renewed interest in quarter calculations in this series, recent counts show Boston at 9 and Miami at 4 and 3. It shows the stupidity of branching calculations.
Spoelstra suggests that people judging by the final score may miss just how close all of this is. It’s tricky logic, but Spoelstra filed a lawsuit late Monday.
“What you’re seeing is a great series,” he said. “Scores and those kinds of things don’t really give you a real indicator of how competitive it is. You can leave either team at any time.”
If it is an A/B pattern, the most recently hit team will play after 48 hours.
“It’s wild, isn’t it?” Miami’s Victor Oladipo said.
Spoestra said: “Sometimes when you have two really competitive teams, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be a one-point game. It means either side can be flammable. Both teams can ignite.
“Whatever they do to us, we can do to them.”
2. Welcome to Celtics, Mr. White
It’s no surprise that Celtics guard Derrick White is struggling with some “new guy” anxiety. He started this season, his fifth season in San Antonio, but was traded in February with two players and two first-round picks. That meant upheaval and pressure to keep up with that exorbitant price tag.
White has reached a completely different role than the one he filled at Tottenham. After starting 155 games for San Antonio, he started in just four of his 26 games with the Celtics. Marcus Smart was a Boston point guard who won the Kia Defender of the Year award. That was all.
“There are no training camps all year round and nothing has happened,” White said after winning Game 4. “They have what they established. I don’t know how many months we played together all year round. If you learn on the fly and try not to step on your toes, you personally retreat.”
Along the way, some Celtics teammates offered words of encouragement to hasten White’s learning and comfort curve.
Center Robert Williams III said, “It’s a reminder that he’s comfortable with us.” “Let me know that he welcomes you. From the day he came here, I tried to do so. It is difficult to join a team, especially in the middle of the season. I see people laughing, joking and playing. You are a new person.
“So I try to let him know that we appreciate him. Welcome to this brotherhood. If you see something, tell me. Don’t be afraid.”
Actions speak louder than words. White was thrown into the depths of the pool to fill up an injured Smart (ankle) on Monday. Everything he did was explosive, eventually scoring Boston’s first seven points from a start that expanded 18-1. He averaged 13 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.
“I said this morning that if I fail, I will play aggressively and play again,” White said.
Celtics manager Ime Udoka said: “With him it’s important to understand who we are. It’s different from San Antonio, where[Greg Popovich]is interested in him not to foul. .I don’t mind if we get a little more aggressive and get a foul or two, so he had to change his mind.”
3. Wrong math: 18 points in 48 minutes
The Miami starters went and made a bad history when they thought the ugliest number would come from the Heat’s sober start (18-1 deficit and 0-14 early shooter).
Spoelstra said there was a lack of “intentional execution” for the attack.
“You can choose any player on our roster.” He said. “We are made to prosper together and utilize every menu and weapon.”
Or, obviously, killed by the sword.
Let’s say it didn’t help that NBA Sixth Man of the Year Heat wing Tyler Herro missed out with a groin injury when Miami’s starting lineup had a bad time to be lame.
4. Horford’s acting speaks for itself
In the second half there are ebb and flow moments when Boston’s big lead seemed to stabilize the entire pitch with veteran bigman Al Horford. If this somehow got out of hand, so was the Celtics postseason. Horford took the lead in two big areas – rebounding and defense – to make sure that didn’t happen.
The player who scored only five points scored 13 points by shooting only two shots. He also blocked four Miami shots, pleasing the garden crowd with each. As a team, Boston rebounded out of Heat 60-39 and allowed 11 blocks to two other players.
5. You have no idea what will happen in Game 5
There is no momentum, carryover, or information about what could happen in this series from one game to the next. The superficial narrative says Miami will feel a sense of urgency while Boston faces complacency, but that’s kind of sad when we get to the conference finals. right?
Instead, let’s wait for future injury reports. Then the series moved to South Florida for Game 5 Wednesday (8:30 EST, ESPN), we can see these teams reinvent themselves again. What we do know for sure is that what worked in the last game doesn’t work in this game.
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