The Miami Heat dominated the Boston Celtics in the second half of Game 1 to cruise to a 118-107 win in large part due to Jimmy Butler’s 41-point performance. The Celtics looked like the aggressor early in the game, but looked shellshocked in the second half when the Heat began to turn up the pressure. Missing two starters in Marcus Smart and Al Horford certainly played a part, but Boston will have to figure out a way to remain consistent on both ends of the floor in Game 2 so it doesn’t get down in an 0-2 series hole.
In preparation for Game 2, here’s everything you need to know.
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(1) Miami Heat vs. (2) Boston Celtics
- When: Thursday, May 19 | 8:30 p.m. ET
- Where: FTX Arena — Miami, Florida
- TV: ESPN | Live stream: FuboTV (Try for free)
- Odds: MIA -180; BOS +155; O/U 207.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics
Heat: If there’s one thing to criticize about Miami’s performance in Game 1, it would be their first-half play. Specifically how they defended the paint, which wasn’t good. The Heat surrendered 42 points in the paint to the Celtics in the first half, a staggering number for a team that allowed the fewest points in the paint during the regular season. In the end, it didn’t matter much as Miami played tougher defense after halftime, but it would be more beneficial for the Heat to start the game stronger and not let Robert Williams III get whatever he wants around the rim.
Celtics: Boston might’ve won Game 1 had they played just halfway better than they did in the third quarter of that contest. Getting outscored 39-14 can’t happen, even if they were without Smart and Horford. Tatum went ghost in the second half after racking up 21 points in the first two quarters, and Jaylen Brown only came alive in the fourth quarter when the game was practically out of reach. The Celtics threw the first punch in the first half, but did not respond well at all when the Heat began to counter. That can’t happen again, and with the news that Smart is probable for Game 2, they’ll have a better shot at making sure there isn’t a repeat of the third quarter in Game 1.
I’m going with the Celtics to even up the series with the assumption that Smart is returning. Butler got whatever he wanted on offense, and while I don’t expect Smart to shut down Butler completely, I do think he’ll make his life a bit more difficult. Having Smart also breathes life into Boston’s offense as he does a great job of keeping the ball moving when Tatum and Brown try to hold it for too long. The pick: Celtics ML