By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Make no mistake, the Celtics blew it in Sport 1 of the Jap Convention Finals. The group’s points with closing out opponents reared its ugly head as soon as once more, and now Boston is in an early collection gap to a harmful Miami Warmth group.
The Celtics had a 14-point lead early within the fourth quarter, however that slipped away as a result of some unhealthy fouls by Boston put Miami within the bonus early. The Warmth are one of the best within the NBA at attending to the free throw line, and that’s how they acquired again into Sport 1, hitting 21 of their 28 free throws. The Warmth additionally dominated the paint, outscoring the Celtics 48-26 down low.
The Celtics offense acquired stagnant within the fourth, with Boston seemingly OK with draining the clock for a lot of the body. Their ball motion got here to a screeching halt, and once you add in some poor shot choice, it was a recipe for catastrophe for Boston in opposition to a Miami group that has been the comeback children of the NBA postseason.
“It was precisely how we anticipated it. It was an incredible recreation, two nice groups who play actually arduous. They acquired the performs that they wanted that mattered,” Marcus Good stated after the loss. “They did their job and it’s as much as us to come back again in Sport 2 and do ours.”
Jayson Tatum put up a star stat-line with 30 factors and 14 rebounds, however he hit simply 10 of his 24 pictures from the ground and simply 4 of 12 from three-point vary. He missed a contested three within the remaining seconds of regulation and had a possible game-tying dunk rejected by Bam Adebayo within the remaining seconds of additional time. Adebayo deserves all of the credit score for making a fully unreal defensive play within the recreation’s most vital second.
“I favored each pictures that I acquired,” Tatum stated of his three on the finish of regulation and his dunk try. “I simply missed one and [Bam] made an incredible play on the rim on the second. Simply taking regardless of the protection is giving me.”
Tatum hit simply two of his 10 pictures within the fourth quarter and additional time, and none of his 4 three-point makes an attempt. That three-point bid on the finish of regulation is drawing plenty of warmth from Celtics followers, however Tatum is the man you need taking that shot. Nonetheless, he needs to be higher in crunch time.
However the recreation was basically misplaced within the remaining 5 minutes of regulation, when the Celtics performed manner an excessive amount of iso ball as an alternative of attempting to maneuver the ball round. The Celtics had only one help over that span.
Boston had its probabilities in additional time, however once more, the ball stopped shifting on offense. After the Celtics took a 110-106 within the additional body, Miami rattled off a 7-Zero run. Boston misplaced Jae Crowder within the nook and the previous Celtic drained a 3 to present Miami a 111-110 lead. A Kemba Walker stepback gave Boston a 114-113 lead with 23.four seconds left, however Jimmy Butler drove arduous at Tatum on the opposite finish and put it in for the ring and the hurt with 12 seconds left. Tatum was rejected by Adebayo on Boston’s subsequent possession.
Walker had 19 factors however struggled mightily once more, going 1-for-9 from three-point vary. He did hit some large pictures late within the recreation, however he additionally dedicated a vital turnover within the remaining minute of regulation when Crowder despatched again his try at an eight-footer with Boston clinging to a two-point lead. He was out of rhythm for a lot of the competition, which by no means allowed the Celtics to place the sport out of attain.
He got here to Boston to be a part of profitable, however he has sadly been an enormous purpose why the Celtics have misplaced two of their final three video games going again to the East semis in opposition to Toronto.
“I’ve performed horrible to be sincere. I’ve to be higher on each ends of the ground,” he stated after the loss. “Make higher determination and simply make pictures general.”
Boston wasted one other large recreation by Good, who had 26 factors off 6-for-13 capturing from deep. Brad Wanamaker was magnificent off the Boston bench with 11 factors, six assists and 5 steals.
The Celtics have been shifting the ball effectively early within the recreation, however then acquired away from it late. They’d Miami on the ropes and let up their grip. It value them the sport, and now they should dig themselves out of a collection gap.
“We acquired stagnant. We rested and we acquired complacent, and in opposition to a group like this, you’ll be able to’t get complacent,” Good stated after the sport. “Up 14, up 20, up 30, they’re actually good at enjoying from behind. Like I stated, when it counted they made the performs down the stretch.”
“A number of issues to speak about and have a look at, and make changes for Sport 2. That’s what the playoffs are about, making changes,” stated Tatum. “You by no means wish to lose a recreation, however it’s not the tip of the world. Greatest-of-seven. Simply prepare for Sport 2. It’s what it’s.”
The Celtics maintain saying they’ll repair these stretches of complacency, however they haven’t but proven that they’ve discovered the answer whereas on the ground. They need to have recognized that taking their foot off the gasoline in opposition to a group like Miami — now 9-1 within the playoffs — wasn’t going to finish effectively.
Fortunately it’s an extended collection — or at the very least it must be. The Celtics have Wednesday to observe their errors and poor choices again and again and hopefully study from them earlier than Sport 2 suggestions off Thursday night time.