WHAT A GAME
All things considered, this was an incredible game all-around for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston opened this one up to an early big lead, gaining the attention of the basketball world quickly as Boston looked more than ready for war. Boston would take a 26-18 lead into the second quarter, as ESPN pointed out that the 18 points by Miami was their lowest opening quarter production of the playoffs. It's always a tough thing for one of the teams to be sitting around waiting for their upcoming series to being. In this situation, the Miami Heat had been patiently waiting for the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors to finish their series. Boston looked more ready for battle, but Miami quickly got their act together in the 2nd quarter, as we found ourselves with a tie game at halftime.
Boston's defense had looked incredible early on in the first half, as they did a great job limiting the three point activity that Miami brings to the table. Marcus Smart also continues to have superpowers when shooting from downtown in the bubble...Smart would finish the game with 26 points on 9 of 18 shooting including 6 of 13 (46.2%) from downtown. Another Boston Celtic that impressed in this one was Jayson Tatum, who would finish the game with 30 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Tatum impressed a number of times in this one, showing the flashes of "superstar" potential that he has. If we are all being serious, Tatum looks like he already is a Superstar...so why don't we just all start realizing that. Boston would find themselves coming out in the 3rd quarter with their hair on fire, taking control of the game and outscoring Miami 28 to 16 in the third alone. That's when the game literally got flipped upside down...
HUGE COMEBACK BY MIAMI IN 4TH
Down by 12 heading into the 4th quarter, Miami realized the uphill battle they had ahead of themselves and clawed their way back into this one. After fighting all the way back in this one, Miami would get a massive go-ahead 3-pointer late in regulation to force overtime after Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker hit a bucket with 23 seconds remaining in overtime to put Boston up one. Right after that, Jimmy Butler responded with an and-one bucket to give the Heat the lead. It was a classic bar fight game between both Eastern Conference teams, who just seemed determined not to give this one up. It all lead up to one of the top defensive plays in playoff history.
With 12 seconds remaining in overtime, the Boston Celtics found themselves down by 2, with Grant Williams taking the ball out on the sideline. The play design was simple, get Jayson Tatum the ball up top and let Tatum go to work and try to tie it up for the Celtics at least. Tatum got a great lane to attack for the Celtics but Bam Adebayo came over with one of the better defensive plays that you will see in NBA Playoff History.
This series is going to be worth every second of the hype. A tough loss for Boston in Game 1 as they seemed poised to take the opening match of this series. Boston needs Kemba Walker to find his shot in a hurry and faces an extremely important Game 2 on Wednesday. Massive win by the Miami Heat to climb back and "steal" this one from Boston.