Logically dominated by the Heat in Game 1, after a failed second half on all counts, the Celtics are expected to turn this Thursday evening, during Game 2. Under penalty of finding themselves at 0-2, before regaining Massachusetts for the rest of this conference final.
But in an attempt to tie and reclaim home-field advantage in Florida, Boston players will already have to work to slow down Jimmy Butler. Author of 41 points (with 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks!) in the first game, he was still immense to lead Miami to victory.
While aggressive, “Jimmy Buckets” thus cut the Celtic defense with far too much ease. Sometimes at mid-range, near the circle and on the counter-attack (12/19 on shots). Sometimes in free throws (17/18 on the line). And it is precisely this aspect that did not please Ime Udoka.
” We were too aggressive in defense “, judged the coach. ” Jimmy Butler got several favorable matchups that allowed him to attract fouls. We know he’s a player who wants to go to the free throw line, who fakes shots and tries to call fouls. But we didn’t do a good job of using our hands and challenging. Robert Williams, [Daniel] Theis and some other players sent him to the line for no reason, so there are a lot of things we can fix easily. »
Boston lost ground when Butler was piling up the shots
In this Game 1, when he was carrying the ball and orchestrating the pick-and-roll, Jimmy Butler constantly punished Celtics defenders, from mid-range or by drawing fouls. It doesn’t matter if they decide to pass in front of or under the screens. And when he found himself in the shoes of the screener or in isolation, he also took pleasure in punishing his opponents, forcing them to make mistakes or converting his shots.
Aggressive as possible (and far too comfortable), especially in the second and third quarters (25 points, 15/16 on the line), the six-time All-Star still punished his opponents. Especially since he also allowed himself to force several ball losses and hurt the Massachusetts franchise on the counterattack.
” We need to play smarter “Explained for example Daniel Theis, one of those in difficulty against Jimmy Butler, side C’s. ” We know he’s a good fake shot player, so we have to be smarter, get our hands out and push him to land tricky shots. He put in some difficult ones, but we can’t send him to the free-throw line as many times, because he’s an excellent free-throw shooter. These are easy points, it puts him in rhythm and we have to prevent that. »
With reigning Defenseman of the Year Marcus Smart announced to be back for Game 2 (but Derrick White announced to be absent), the Celtics are aware that their salvation in this series will come through better control. of the Heat winger on defense. It remains to be seen whether they have taken into account the warnings of their coach.
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