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HomeOlympicsThree Takeaways After Celtics Breeze Previous Warmth Sequence-Clinching Recreation 5 Win

Three Takeaways After Celtics Breeze Previous Warmth Sequence-Clinching Recreation 5 Win


BOSTON — The Celtics slammed the door shut as soon as and for all on the Warmth, eliminating their Jap Convention foe with a lopsided 118-84 Recreation 5 victory on Wednesday night time, securing a spot within the semifinal spherical.

Halfway via the fourth quarter, the TD Backyard collectively sang Steam’s “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” understanding Miami was leaving Boston for good. All hope was misplaced for the Warmth, which meant they may get a head begin on reserving their offseason trip flights whereas watching Boston’s season proceed from their couches — leaving Jimmy Butler with much more free time to spend on social media.

The Celtics turned the primary staff from the East to conclude their first-round sequence, and transferring ahead will await the winner of the Cavaliers-Magic Spherical 1 battle earlier than persevering with their hunt for Banner 18.

Listed here are three post-Recreation 5 takeaways:

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1. Joe Mazzulla wasn’t anxious about Boston attending to a scorching begin, however Derrick White insisted on doing so anyway
The Celtics opened the sequence with the Warmth by occurring a 14-0 run in Recreation 1, attacking the scoreboard early and forcing Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra to name a stop-the-bleeding timeout lower than two minutes into the sport.

Mazzulla didn’t discover it essential to duplicate that in Recreation 5.

“You’ll be able to’t actually go in with the expectation of, ‘If we get off to a very good begin, we’ll win,’” Mazzulla mentioned pregame. “On the finish of the day, we gotta play the entire sport and we gotta compete at a excessive degree the whole sport, and that also won’t be sufficient.”

Coming off a career-high 38-point masterclass in Recreation 4, White didn’t resonate with that message and made it abundantly clear as soon as each groups met at heart court docket of the opening tip. In reality, the perimeter All-Star-caliber guard elected to punish Miami as soon as the chance offered itself.

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White scored 15 of Boston’s 41 first-quarter factors, going 3-of-4 from 3-point territory whereas exploiting the Warmth protection. He attacked the basket and fired away from past the perimeter when essential, serving to keep the offensive momentum earlier than ending the night time with 25 factors.

2. No Kristaps Porzings? No downside. Celtics unleashed their killer intuition and Miami paid the final word value
Defensively, offensively, it didn’t matter. Even with out Porzingis wholesome and suited up, there wasn’t a bonus for the Warmth to capitalize on.

By the point the fourth quarter rolled round, Miami had shot themselves method past rivalry, going 3-of-22 (13.6%) from three, which spoke volumes to Boston’s perimeter protection but once more. The ugly obtained even uglier as soon as the Warmth proved incapable of attending to the road, making an attempt seven free-throws to 25 from the Celtics via the primary three quarters. Miami confirmed minimal aggression, didn’t execute an efficient sport plan, and took desperation shot after desperation shot with no one to run the ground.

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“One of many issues coming into the season it was we would have liked to win video games (in) alternative ways, (with) completely different lineups,” Mazzulla defined postgame. “And even when KP was wholesome, we nonetheless performed small, we nonetheless did a bunch of stuff, we performed all of the bigs. So that you simply must develop a bunch of various identities to have the ability to get into completely different playoff sequence when you’ve gotten completely different matchups.”

The Celtics babied the Warmth within the rebounding battle, gathering 56 to Miami’s 29 as Al Horford was inserted into the beginning lineup whereas Luke Kornet slid up as Boston’s go-to massive off the bench.

Granted, it was a severely undermanned Warmth staff, however Boston made an instance of higher groups — a number of instances — within the common season.

3. The Celtics lastly confirmed they’ve discovered their lesson
Certain, the identical might be mentioned in Video games 3 and 4, however neither of these had been closeout alternatives, which in earlier years, didn’t urge the Celtics to place opposing postseason opponents away as early as potential.

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Final season, the Hawks pushed the Celtics to 6 video games within the first spherical — and had no enterprise doing so. Then the Sixers and Warmth punked Boston, too, dragging their postseason sequence to 6 and 7 video games respectively, which re-begged the query: what would it not take for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to do themselves a favor and dominate a sequence?

This go-around, with a 3-1 lead, the Celtics didn’t lure themselves by being content material. Boston emphasised shutting the door in 5 video games, and the vitality was contagious all through regulation — the strongest of indicators that the 2024 Celtics are what they appeared through the common season.

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