The Miami Heat fell to the Boston Celtics, 117-106, in an overall tough night for Miami. The Heat struggled on both sides of the floor tonight, which Boston took advantage of. Here are my takeaways…
#1: Tyler Herro explodes in second quarter.
Tyler Herro stepped up when he entered the game off of the bench, after Miami’s offense was a bit choppy. He scored 16 points in the second quarter, including 4 threes. Miami continually finds a guy to step up in the first half, including Goran Dragic in game one and Duncan Robinson in game two. But this display was much different. Tyler was taking shot after shot off of the dribble, and also pulling up on fast-breaks. That’s just truly what Tyler Herro does, he makes needed plays. This stretch wouldn’t have been possible without Bam Adebayo on the floor though. His screen setting and just overall presence opened up the floor for Tyler, to do what he does best.
#2: Offensive sloppiness becomes problematic against this Boston team.
Once the Miami Heat finally cut the lead down to three late in the second quarter, their offensive sloppiness extended Boston’s lead to 12. Some possessions from Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo seemed to be in slow motion, with some forced passes. This led to three straight wide open fast-breaks for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. This Boston team thrives on the mistakes of their opponents, which is something Miami must key on. This does ultimately fall on Jimmy Butler, since he needs to be in control of the ball during tough stretches. Miami’s spacing seemed to be off as well. They just ultimately played like a team up 2-0 in the series.
#3: Lack of urgency early occurs again for Miami.
It seems as if it’s the same story line in every game of this Boston Celtics series. Miami’s first half intensity just not there. Tyler Herro seemed as the only guy that tried to bring it, but ultimately you need more than one guy to have it. Jimmy Butler was needed to bring it, to try and put a stamp on a 3-0 lead, but once again there was no initiative to score. Miami has relied on the first half scoring success of Goran throughout these playoffs thus far, but you can’t bet on that every game. This lack of intensity continued in the second half, until they finally showed some signs of it with about 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Maybe only being up 2-1 will spark this Heat team to put it all out there on the floor for 48 minutes.
#4: Miami thrives on bench production, which was not the case tonight.
Miami’s biggest advantage has continually been the production they get off the bench on both sides of the floor. Well, other than Tyler Herro’s big game, Andre Iguodala and Kelly Olynyk did not have the greatest stretch. This led to Spo rolling with Tyler and Derrick Jones Jr for extended minutes, then inserting Kendrick Nunn and Kelly Olynyk late in the third. But none of these guys seemed able to get going offensively. The spacing was off, the energy was off, everything was off. And well, that’s what happens when you rely on your bench to win you playoff games. Your star players must step up when most in need, which wasn’t the case today.
#5: Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum pour it on Miami.
It’s almost as if Boston was due for a game like this, where their offensively gifted wings put on a scoring display. Jaylen finally got to his spots that he hadn’t been getting to in games one and two, while Jayson was doing pretty much everything on the floor. Brown scored 26 points, while Tatum scored 25 along with 14 boards and 8 assists. These two players are going to do this no matter what, and it’s up to Miami to try and match their offensive play and eliminate the supporting cast. Miami’s offense had no flow throughout, which allowed them to extend the lead more and more in the third quarter. Miami’s defense on the other hand couldn’t control guys in the paint. It’s now up to Erik Spoelstra to make some more adjustments with three days off.