The Boston Celtics stay alive in their bid for an NBA Championship as they beat the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Miami Heat were up 3-1 before the game as they tried to advance to the Finals for the first time since 2014. Boston will be looking to derail that feat and try to find themselves again in the Finals for the first time since 2010.
The Celtics are against history as they trail 3-1 on the series as few teams have only emerged to go over the deficit. Starting the game the Heat were hot early, leading 26-18 after the first quarter. Duncan Robinson led the Heat with 12 points with 2 three pointers to cap the first quarter run.
In the second quarter the game was back and forth for both teams as the quarter ended with Boston capping the second quarter with 33-32 lead. At halftime the Heat led by 7, 58-51. Jimmy Butler had a brilliant first half ending it with 14 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. At this point if the Heat continue to play like this in the first half they will have a great chance to put away the Celtics, but it will be tough to do as the Celtics won't go away easily.
In the third quarter it was a different story, it was like a different Boston Celtics team that came out after the break. The Celtics were scorching hot in the third quarter as they dropped 41 points on the Heat, and held them to just 25 points with lock down defense. With 8 minutes left Marcus Smart tied the game at 60 a piece with a three point shot, the Celtics didn't look back after that. Jayson Tatum was hot in the third quarter scoring 17 points in the quarter alone hitting multiple three point shots. The third quarter ended with a score of 92-83 in favor of the Celtics.
If it was Jayson Tatum in the third quarter, Jaylen Brown was the star in the fourth quarter. Brown scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, as the Celtics continued their intensity on both sides of the floor. The game ended with Boston having a 13 point lead, which will give them something great to take to Game 6, to try and tie the series, and force a Game 7.
Jayson Tatum - 31 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists
Jaylen Brown - 28 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists
Kemba Walker - 15 points, 7 assists
Daniel Theis - 15 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocks
Marcus Smart - 12 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals
Goran Dragic - 23 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Duncan Robinson - 20 points, 2 rebounds
Jimmy Butler - 17 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists
Jae Crowder - 41 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists
Bam Adebayo - 13 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists
Final Thoughts and Predictions
That was a great game for the Celtics, they won't go away that easily, with every game now fighting for survival. I was impressed with the adjustments made by Brad Stevens for this game, specially in defense. After Butler's brilliant first half performance he was held to just 3 points in the second half. Game 5 hero Tyler Herro was held to just 14 points at the end, after scoring 37 points previously.
After 5 games looks like the Celtics has now an answer to Bam Adebayo inside the painted area. I was impressed at Daniel Theis this game, stepping up his game and making it hard for Adebayo, and posted impressive numbers 15 points, 13 rebounds, 3 blocks. As I have discussed before for me the X factor is Bam Adebayo, if the Celtics doesn't contain him it will be a hard series for them.
The performance of Theis is a positive, if he continues to post this numbers in the following games, and match Bam Adebayo, I can see the Celtics getting back to this series and take it to a do or die Game 7. Also another unsung hero was Enes Kanter, with limited minutes he was able to post positive numbers for the Celtics.
For predictions, I think I will go with a Celtics win in Game 6, the Heat will definitely have many adjustments in Game 6, but I think the Celtics will still pull through, who doesn't want a do or die game 7? With both teams featuring young and upcoming stars that would be exciting.
As of now the winner of this series will face the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals as they beat the Nuggets 4-1 earlier.
Who do you think will win Game 6? Who will face the Lakers in the Finals? Let's discuss in the comments section below.