|Eastern Conference - Conference Finals - Best Of 7 - Game 3 - Lake Buena Vi|
|Last 5 Games||2-3||-3.3||2-3||2-2||108.0||55.8||45.4%||54.6||104.8||46.2||43.1%||49.8|
|Team Stats (All Games)||112.7||55.0||41-89||46.0%||13-35||36.1%||19-23||80.2%||54||10||23||22||8||13||6|
|vs opponents surrendering||111.2||55.9||41-88||45.8%||12-35||35.7%||18-23||77.1%||53||10||24||21||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||111.0||54.3||40-88||45.5%||12-35||35.4%||19-23||79.6%||54||10||22||22||8||13||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||106.5||51.7||38-87||43.7%||12-35||33.6%||19-24||77.0%||53||10||22||21||7||14||5|
|vs opponents averaging||111.2||55.9||41-88||45.9%||12-34||36.0%||18-23||77.2%||53||10||25||21||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||106.0||51.2||37-87||43.1%||12-34||33.5%||19-25||77.9%||53||10||22||21||7||14||5|
|Last 5 Games||4-1||+4.5||4-1||2-2||111.2||50.4||45.7%||53.0||105.4||53.6||44.1%||49.4|
|Team Stats (All Games)||112.0||57.7||39-84||46.6%||14-36||37.9%||20-25||78.7%||53||8||26||20||8||14||4|
|vs opponents surrendering||111.5||55.9||41-89||45.7%||12-34||35.8%||18-23||77.5%||53||10||24||21||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||109.3||56.4||38-84||45.4%||13-36||36.2%||20-25||78.7%||53||8||25||21||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||108.5||54.0||39-86||44.8%||13-37||34.7%||18-24||78.1%||50||9||24||22||8||14||4|
|vs opponents averaging||111.7||56||41-89||46.0%||12-34||35.7%||18-23||77.2%||53||10||24||21||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||109.3||54.8||38-86||45.0%||13-37||35.6%||19-25||78.7%||51||9||24||22||8||14||4|
|Average power rating of opponents played: BOSTON 95.7, MIAMI 96|
|9/19/2020||*MIAMI|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/23/2020||*MIAMI|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/19/2020||*BOSTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/23/2020||*BOSTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|BOSTON: LAST SEASON: 49-33
COACH: Brad Stevens (seventh season).
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Kemba Walker (25.6 ppg), G Gordon Hayward (11.5), F Jaylen Brown. (13.0), F Jayson Tatum (15.7), C Enes Kanter (13.7)
KEY LOSSES: G Kyrie Irving, F/C Al Horford, F Marcus Morris, G Terry Rozier.
KEY ADDITIONS: Walker, Kanter, G Romeo Langford, F Grant Williams, G Carsen Edwards.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: It starts with Walker, who jumped at the chance in free agency to join a perennial playoff team. Following Kyrie Irving's departure to Brooklyn, it will also give Walker the opportunity to do what Irving couldn't: lead the Celtics to an NBA Finals. He'll need help, though. And that will again put the spotlight on youngsters Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Both took small steps backward last season as infighting and chemistry issues plagued the team. Now, both will have key roles, much like they did two seasons ago when Irving missed the playoffs and they helped get the team to the Eastern Conference finals. It's an especially big year for Brown. The Celtics have until Oct. 21 to decide whether to extend his contract for another season or let him become a restricted free agent next summer.
OUTLOOK: The Celtics are going to have to tweak their style of play a little without Irving or Horford. Irving was their chief scorer and Horford played a huge role facilitating offense in the half court as well as on defense. Kanter is a big man that can run, which should fit in nicely with the up-tempo style this athletic roster is built for. Whether this team is ultimately able to be a threat to win the East will depend on how well Walker leads and if the starting unit gets enough support from its youthful group of reserves.
|MIAMI: LAST SEASON: 39-43, finished in 10th place in Eastern Conference.
COACH: Erik Spoelstra (12th season, 523-363).
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE: G Justise Winslow (12.6 ppg), G Dion Waiters (12.0), G Jimmy Butler (18.7 with Minnesota and Philadelphia), F Kelly Olynyk (10.0), C Bam Adebayo (8.9).
KEY LOSSES: G Dwyane Wade, G Josh Richardson, C Hassan Whiteside, G Rodney McGruder.
KEY ADDITIONS: Butler, G Tyler Herro, F-C Meyers Leonard.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Butler gets a team to call his own, and assumes the role of locker-room leader in the place of Wade ' who retired after 16 seasons, most of them with Miami. The Heat are hoping for healthier years from Waiters and PG Goran Dragic, after both missed about half of last season. Herro, the No. 13 pick in this year's draft, had a strong summer league and followed that up with big numbers in the preseason so he'll clearly be in the mix somewhere. Adebayo enters his first full year as the starting center, a job he won down the stretch last season, and will get help from fellow bigs Olynyk and Leonard. Winslow wants to be a leader for the group, but has missed 94 games in the last three seasons.
OUTLOOK: The Heat haven't won a playoff series since 2016 and are only 124-122 over the last three seasons, yet believe they can get back into more of a postseason-contender role ' even without Wade, who was the team's best player last season. Getting Butler was a major boost and he'll unquestionably be the key to everything Miami does, though he won't be asked to carry the load by himself. Defense wasn't the problem for Miami last season after the Heat finished No. 2 in the league in points allowed; the biggest issue was inconsistent offense, which figures to get better.
|Can Celtics put emotions aside, avoid 3-0 hole vs. Heat?|
In the wake of a Game 2 defeat to fall behind 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals, raw emotion came to a head for the Boston Celtics. Reports of screaming and thrown objects in the locker room have the team at a crossroads as it gets set for Game 3 against the Miami Heat on Saturday night near Orlando.
The Celtics' loss Thursday saw them blow both a 17-point lead amassed in the second quarter and a five-point edge in the final five minutes of the game. It was the second straight such defeat for Boston after Miami came back from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to win in overtime in Game 1, so tensions were reportedly high among players, namely Marcus Smart and the other team leaders.
"It's really just a lot of emotions flying around," Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown said. "Obviously we feel like we could have won (Game 2); we should have won, but we didn't. So just a lot of emotions flying around. That's it."
Coach Brad Stevens met with Brown, Smart, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker later Thursday night to work through the frustration, according to a report from ESPN. Key will be returning focus to the task at hand, as recovering from two games down against a Heat team that has won 10 of 11 playoff games thus far is as tall a task as it gets.
"Just be prepared to win that next one," Tatum said. "Not looking at it like we've got to win four out of five. ... Just take it one game at a time."
Boston could receive a sizable boost for Game 3 as starting forward Gordon Hayward was upgraded to questionable for the contest. Hayward has been sidelined since Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs with an ankle injury. His return, along with Walker showing he's ready to put a slump behind him with 23 points Thursday, could breathe new life into a Celtics team facing its make-or-break moment.
The Heat, on the other hand, know their job is to continue playing the way they have. Even down 17 in the first half of Game 2, Miami never felt out of it, and it came through during a third quarter in which it outscored Boston 37-17 to take a seven-point lead into the fourth.
"Man, we got grit," said big man Bam Adebayo, who scored 15 of his 21 points on the night during the quarter. "That's about all I can tell you. We got grit, man. I'm happy to be on this team with these guys, because everybody in here has a different story. We all come from nothing, and that's what's beautiful about this team, man. You put guys that come from nothing together, and they have a vision, and we're just trying to foresee that vision."
While Adebayo and Goran Dragic (25 points) led the way in the victory, Jimmy Butler took a back seat with 14 points. The All-Star forward was more than happy to let his teammates carry the load, however.
"We believe in one another, and we know what we're capable of," Butler said. "... We get down at times, but we never hang our heads because we know if we play the right way, we give ourselves a chance to win."
--Field Level Media
|Last Updated: 10/30/2020 1:17:26 PM EST|