The applause of coach Udoka: “He always does the right thing, decisive”. Butler’s self-criticism: “Too selfish in attack, I have to give more”
The Celtics punish the Heat’s inattentions, change pace and go on to win race-2 with ease. The recovery of two important players for the Celtics such as Smart and Horford was decisive.
The return of Smart
Absent in race-1, Marcus Smart leaves an indelible mark on the second match of the series with a performance by applause on both sides of the pitch. “We are talking about the winner of the defender of the year award – underlines the Celtics coach Ime Udoka – I am not surprised by his performance, he always does the right thing in attack, this evening was decisive”. Smart flirts with a triple double and eventually finishes with 24 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists. “It was frustrating not being able to help the team in race-1 – says Marcus Smart – I tried to be aggressive from the first minute, I’m one of the leaders of this team and I tried to lead by example. But it was a team victory, we played a great match ”.
The Boston bass quintet
The move that changes the direction of the race comes 5’41 ” from the end of the first quarter when coach Udoka lowers the Celtics quintet, inserting Grant Williams in place of Robert Williams. Boston changes pace, and after having found itself under eight lengths it becomes devastating on an offensive level. “Grant was decisive – Udoka agrees – he manages to open the field for his teammates and with his movements he allows the team to find good conclusions from long distance. We started contracts but as the minutes went by, things got better. The team needed a shock which also came thanks to Grant ”. “Miami is a team that defends very well – says Al Horford – but we with the low quintet managed to hurt them. Grant gave us a big push, we asked him a lot both in attack and in defense and he responded in a great way ”.
The gaps in Miami
The Heat sticks on a defensive level, granting 127 points to the Celtics. “First of all we have to congratulate Boston who practically played a match as coach Spoelstra – starting with 9/11 from long distance gives you great confidence, but we have given too much and we have not been aggressive enough”. Miami leader Jimmy Butler doesn’t mince words. “We defended very badly in the first half – says Butler who ends with 29 points on the scoresheet – it also happened in game-1, we can’t start with this approach against a solid team like Boston. I am the first responsible, I have to give more to the team. On an offensive level, I was too selfish. Unfortunately, often when we do not find rhythm in attack then we also struggle in defense, this must no longer happen ”.
May 20, 2022 (change May 20, 2022 | 07:50 am)
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