Miami Heat Advance to NBA Finals with Game 7 Victory over Boston Celtics: Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin Lead the Charge

2023-05-30 02:49:00

The Miami Heat are in the NBA Finals. Jimmy Butler’s team won Game 7 against the Boston Celtics by a clear margin of 103-84. The Celtics missed out on becoming the first team in NBA history to close a 0-3 series deficit.

Instead, it’s the Heat who move into the finals as only the second 8-seed. Only the New York Knicks had previously managed to do this in 1999. The Heat were able to rely on their strong defense in Game 7 and found enough offense in Jimmy Butler (28, 12/28 FG) and the once again outstanding Caleb Martin (26, 11/16, 10 rebounds). Butler was subsequently awarded the Larry Bird Trophy for series MVP, five out of nine votes went to Jimmy Bucks, Martin received four.

The decision came early in the fourth quarter as Miami put on an 18-5 run to extend the lead to +21. The Celtics simply couldn’t score anymore, also because Jayson Tatum (14, 5/13, 11 rebounds) injured his ankle in the first play of the game and was only able to play a limited role afterwards. Although co-star Jaylen Brown was the top scorer with 19 points (8/23), his 8 turnovers were a big problem.

The best Celtics player was Derrick White (18, 5/12), who also injured his knee in the fourth quarter. Duncan Robinson (10) also knew how to convince for the Heat, while Bam Adebayo (12, 4/10, 10 rebounds, 7 assists) defended superbly, but left a lot offensively. It didn’t matter, Miami completely pulled Boston’s teeth with its zone defense and is in the Finals for the seventh time in franchise history.

There the Heat will meet the Denver Nuggets around the two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, who made their first finals participation just under a week ago by sweeping over the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 of the series takes place in Denver on Friday night at 2:30 a.m.

Celtics vs. Heat: Boston with a battered Tatum without a chance

Both teams had the same starting five as in game 6 and the defense ruled from the start. Miami switched everything, containing the drives and going for an 11-2 run when Butler took over the game. Boston just couldn’t hit a three like two days ago (0/10 start), Tatum twisted his ankle during the first play of the game and wasn’t even a factor offensively. Miami led 22:15 after twelve minutes because they only allowed 26 percent out of the field.

Although the Celtics scored on their 13th attempt from outside thanks to Al Horford, the hosts lost the minutes without Butler at -8 as Miami now hit one three-pointer after the other. Martin, Robinson and Vincent all delivered during this phase and allowed Butler an extended break. The Heat star looked much fresher, but Adebayo quickly picked up his third foul. The lead shrank from +17 at the break to just 11 (52:41 Miami). After a weak first half, Boston was lucky for this moderate deficit.

But what continued to worry: Tatum hardly took part in the game and kept making faces. Instead, it was White who woke the crowd up again with a three and an And-1. Otherwise, the guard received little help, who also defended passionately against Butler. Miami went almost four minutes without a field goal, but hardly allowed anything themselves. But in the end it was Martin againwho with two jumpers ensured that Miami continued to lead in double digits (76:66).

And slowly the lights went out at the Celtics. Turnovers from Brown punished the guests mercilessly and slowly the lead grew again. A little later, White limped into the dressing room with knee pain and after Brown’s eighth turnover, boos began. Boston was beaten and Coach Joe Mazzulla emptied the bench four minutes before the end. The Celtics’ season is over.

The most important statistics

Boston Celtics (E2) vs. Miami Heat (E8) 84:103 (BOXSCORE), Serie: 3-4

  • The series lasts. In 150 attempts so far, no team has managed to close a 0-3 series deficit, with Boston adding number 151.
  • As in game 6, the Celtics could not hit a three for their lives. In the first quarter they remained completely without a hit (0/10). In the end it was only 21 percent again (9/42), which wasn’t enough because Miami did significantly better (14/28).
  • Another factor was turnover and this picture is somewhat skewed by garbage time as Miami ended up having only a marginal advantage (14:15). But: At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the entire Heat team had fewer turnovers (6) than Jaylen Brown (7) alone. In the end, the Celtics forward stood at 8 turnovers, the All-Star had not had that many turnovers in the regular season or in the playoffs in his career.
  • Another topic was transition. Here the Heat didn’t allow anything and scored 12 points in the first three quarters, the duel clearly went to the guests with 17:8.

Celtics vs. Heat: The thoughts on the game

Marcus Smart (Celtics): “I can’t put it into words right now. It’s tough. It’s true, we haven’t been consistent enough this season, but I’m proud of how our team has fought.”

Jaylen Brown (Celtics): “We failed. I failed. We failed a whole city. It was a terrible game for me when my team needed me. I had to make plays but failed.”

Erik Spoelstra (Head Coach Heat): “No one is happy here. We’re not playing to win the Eastern Conference, we want the big trophy now.”

The top of the game: Caleb Martin

Rarely do you see a role player play such a grandiose series. And even in the greatest moments, Martin was always there with jumpers. Whenever Miami got into trouble, the Heat found Martin, who could barely miss a shot that night. It’s simple: If Martin doesn’t play like an All-Star in this series, Miami won’t win. There were plenty of arguments that Martin deserved the MVP trophy.

The flop of the game: Jaylen Brown

Tatum could barely move so his eyes were on Brown. Only he couldn’t deliver. Boston’s best attacking option was White instead, while Brown once again struggled with his dribbling (8 turnovers!!) and was unable to finish very often at ringside. It wasn’t an application for a supermax contract, which he’s eligible for this summer.

NBA Playoffs: Die Stats-Leader bei Celtics vs. Heat

#Miami #Heat #dominate #Game #Boston #Celtics #advance #NBA #Finals

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