Boston — If the trend in the Eastern Conference Finals continues, the Miami Heat will come out as a more aggressive team in Game 5 on Wednesday, beating the Boston Celtics 3-2 to lead the series.
In the conference finals, which have not yet produced a great game from start to finish, The Celtics knocked out Heat 102-82 in Game 4. On Monday, following Boston’s poor second quarter, a bad loss in Game 1, followed by Heat’s horrendous performance in Game 2, they atoned for their uninspired defeat in Game 3.
Given how both teams lost, it looks like they won’t be able to win the next game. But, it does.
Not only is it a disjointed series where neither team can win consecutive games, but it also vibrates wildly from game to game with sharp point differences.
Miami led by 20 points in Game 1 while Boston scored 34 points in Game 2. Miami scored 26 points in Game 3 and Boston scored 32 points in Game 4.
“There are extreme highs and lows, especially when the two teams are almost evenly matched,” said Heat’s coach Erik Spoelstra.
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For the 2-2 Series of the Eastern Conference Finals, refined to a best-of-three between the top two seeds, the matchup wasn’t attractive.
If the trend continues in the Western Conference Finals, the Golden State will sweep Dallas to an end on Tuesday.
In many ways, the conference final was a mess. There were some really good teams and individual matches, but both teams performed poorly, especially in the same match in the East. Not one of the seven conference finals matches was decided at the last minute.
There were 3 lead changes in the first 27 minutes of the Boston-Miami series and only 1 lead change in the next 165 minutes over 3½ games.
Spoelstra had her own views on the series.
“Besides these crazy runs, there are two teams that are really competitive,” he said. “Scoring and that sort of thing doesn’t really indicate how competitive it is. It can come off any team at any time. That’s what you saw tonight.”
Boston have made up for their five playoff losses this season with victories. It’s no surprise they’ve established control of the game from the start. After Game 3, Celtics bigman Al Horford described the Heat as an injured animal. In Game 4, the roles changed. It is a pattern through four games.
Boston’s Jason Tatum said, “Winning a game can relax you a bit, but obviously losing a game feels like the next game is going to decide the winner.
But despite the win, the Celtics still played a strange game. The field throw percentage was less than 40% and the 3-point shot percentage was less than 25%, but it was easily won.
“Sometimes it’s an inconsistent series between the two teams, and frankly it’s weird looking at some numbers tonight. The way we didn’t shoot or attack so well and have a 30-point lead,” Udoka said.
The Celtics will have to find a way to reproduce that performance after the win, while the Heat vowed to do better on Wednesday.
“Sometimes having two very competitive teams doesn’t mean it’s going to be a one-point game,” Spoelstra said. “That means it can be flammable either way. Both teams can be ignited.”
The hit with no double-digit starting pitchers burned out.
“Whatever they do to us, we can do to them,” Spolstra said.
Now it’s time to see if Heat can do that to Celtics again.