For the third time in the past four years, the Celtics and Heat are squabbling in the Eastern Conference Finals. With rookie Joe Mazzulla sitting on the bench this time around, the Celtics will be facing up with their third different head coach in as many meetings.
Miami won Game 1 123-116, but it also demonstrated how the tactical struggle between rookie coach Joe Mazzulla and veteran opponent Erik Spoelstra will be a significant issue.
On Wednesday night, the Celtics controlled the first two periods before being outscored 46-25 in the third. This was the most points they had ever given up in a third quarter of a playoff game over the previous 25 years. It threw Boston into a 103–91 hole that it could never climb out of.
Coach Spo’s vast understanding of basketball, particularly postseason knowledge, is difficult to equal in terms of experience. One of the few areas where this year’s Miami team has an advantage over Boston is in that area, where he has a clear and significant lead over Mazzulla.
The Heat’s 13-1 run that helped tie the game and Mazzulla’s choice not to call a timeout, which has emerged as a recurring theme for him this season because of his preference to let the Celtics play through rocky patches, were all part of the game-changing onslaught.
“I think Mazzulla understands the value of having his two bigs on the floor at the same time and make Miami beat them from the outside. Miami only shot 안전놀이터 30 percent from three in the last series,” said Nelson, who spent 12 years with the Utah Jazz and has also worked with the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers. “I think the Celtics are going to pack it in and make the Heat beat them from the outside.”
According to Nelson, the Celtics’ two-headed monster of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will provide the Heat a lot of matchup problems.
The Celtics have experience playing against the Heat and in the Eastern Conference Finals, so they should be able to benefit from that knowledge. But for the Celtics to win the series, they must win at home, which has been a problem for Boston in recent years.
“They’ve played in the Finals, played and won Game 7’s. The Celtics should be fine. My biggest concern is within the last 20 home playoff games they’re only 10-10,” noted Nelson. “It’s critical that they win Game 1, because the Heat have won both of the last two series by winning Game 1 and taking away that home-court advantage.”
The 34-year-old, who was thrown into his dream job in the preseason, is now attempting to find fresh methods to inspire a club with championship expectations after Boston lost back-to-back series after falling behind 0-1 in both.
The 52-year-old Spoelstra was raised in the Heat organization, moving up the ranks from video coordinator to assistant to head coach at 38. He then managed to manage the strain of leading a team featuring All-Stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh to back-to-back NBA championships.
When reflecting on how he was jeered during his first game in New York, Spoelstra admitted that at first he had self-doubt. In his first season, Spoelstra admitted, “I was beating myself up quite a bit.” Similarly, Mazzulla has been open about the fact that every game he has coached has taught him something new.
Mazzulla listened to the veteran Celtics leaders 카지노 from the previous series when they begged him to start Robert Williams III again. In the Game 4 overtime defeat to Philadelphia, he also expressed regret to the club for not calling a timeout prior to its last possession.
And now, in three of the previous four postseasons, they have run into one another. Even though his side is the underdog this time around, Spoelstra is demonstrating once more how adept he is at getting the best performance out of his players as one of the league’s longest serving head coaches.