Atrocious 3rd quarter causes Celtics to lose Game 1; Heat 118, Celtics 107 Final
The Celtis either played like trash or their lack of depth caught up with them as the Heat outscored Boston by 25 points in the 3rd quarter to snatch the lead from the Celtics and go on to win Game 1. Probably a combinantion of both. I predicted prior to the playoffs that this Celtics team had the talent to win it all IF they remained healthy througout the playoffs. That was the big if, because in order to get and stay under the luxury tax for the seaosn the team had to sacrifice depth.
When everyone is healthy, the Celtics have a very solid 8 man playoff rotation. They have Daniel Theis as insurance if Time Lord or Horford misses a game. What they don't have is the depth to withstand multiple key guys being out. Sure you can stretch the minutes on other players and that will work... until they burn out. But when you look at the bench and see Luke Kornet, Matt Ryan, Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts, and Juwan Morgan as options, you resemble a college team that had their scholarships reduced and is loaded with walk-ons.
Casualty of avoiding the luxury tax. With Kyle Lowry out it wasn't like the Heat were loaded with NBA talent. They had Butler, Bam, and a great 6th man in Herro, but the rest of their guys are nothing amazing. Vincent shouldn't be outplaying the man Stevens traded Ricahrdson and two first round picks for.
Jayson Tatum scored 29 if that matters to you, but what really mattered was the Celtics had a chance to win Game 1 after the first half, and then completely crapped the bed.
Jimmy Butler continues to look like the best player on the floor whenever he plays the Celtics in the playoffs. He was the game's high scorer with 41 points. Robert Williams put up his best numbers of this postseason before leaving the game in crunch time with another injury. Udoka says it was just a cramp, so that's good considering this team can't handle having two players out, let alone 3. Pritchard added 18 off the bench, but Derrick White stunk up the floor in a start for the injured Marcus Smart.
And this was coming out of the SECOND timeout Ime called trying to collect his team. Inexcusable.