This was a frustrating game to watch. The Heat, without their best player in All-Star Jimmy Butler and on the second night of a back-to-back, were able to pull off an impressive win over C’s. The Celtics started slow and never found their groove and trailed the entire game. They hung around and made the game close at the end, but this was really a game I thought the Celtics should have won.
The Heat are a competitive team and a tough matchup for whoever they draw in the first round of the playoffs. The Celtics are the only Eastern Conference team with a record over .500 against themI if we someone get matched up against them, I’m still betting on green. That said, the Heat are a very deep team with tons of shooting. Their length and athleticism match up well with the Celtics, who have similar strengths. Duncan Robinson, Goran Dragic, and Jae Crowder are all great role players to have, as we saw last night.
However, the reason the Celtics lost this game because they were lazy. They had a little spurt in the third where they closed the lead to one, then let off the gas pedal. They did a bad job of closing out on the perimeter, Tatum was constantly complaining to the refs, and ball movement was stagnant (Kemba led the with 4 of the team’s 15 assists).
Now, I don’t want to get too alarmist here or anything. The Celtics aren’t going to shoot 30% from beyond the arc, Marcus Smart is certainly not going to foul out in 16 minutes and Semi Ojeleye better not be taking 6 shots on a normal night. Bam Adebayo also shouldn’t be shooting 18 FT’s. But here’s a question:
Where’s Time Lord? Where is he? And why the hell is Grant Williams getting more minutes than him? I understand that Grant is a “high IQ individual” and all that jazz, but he’s also slow, undersized and brings nothing to the table offensively other than a propensity for turnovers and missed 3’s. Time Lord, on the other hand, is an athletic beast who, even if he fouls a lot, could have thrown his weight around with Adebayo. Instead, you have Smart and Tatum combining for 11 fouls while Theis chases around Canadian Big Foot. Then, with mere seconds to go, Time Lord finds the floor only to commit three fouls in his 0 minutes of action.
The rest of the schedule shouldn’t be much of a problem, with the only competitive game left coming up Saturday against Toronto. I really thought the Celtics should have gone 7-1 in the bubble, but if we play like we did last night we’re staring 5-3 in the face.