C’s Sizzle As The Heat Fizzle!!!

In a stunning turn of events, the Boston Celtics – given up for dead with a never-before-surpassed 0-3 deficit – have turned things around, winning 2 games to make the Eastern Conference Championship a very interesting and competitive series. The Miami Heat had been dominant in the first 3 games, and needed just 1 more victory to seal a spot for the NBA Finals. Instead, they find the Celtics breathing down their necks in a mad dash for the finish line.

If the Heat wins this series against the Celtics, they will become only the 2nd 8th seed in NBA history to reach the Finals. On the other hand, the Celtics are aiming to gain the distinction as the first-ever team in NBA history to win a post-season series after trailing 3-0. After coming out cold in the first 3 games, the defending Eastern conference champs Celtics were again trailing 61-52 early the 2nd half of Game 4, when something ignited the team so suddenly. And from then on, the Celtics would loosen up, shed off the unwarranted jitters, to win Game 4 comfortably 116-99. Grabbing hold of that long-lost confidence, the Celtics came out swinging in game 5, never giving the Heat a chance at the lead in Boston, to take the win 110-97.

Suddenly, we have a series!

The Celts’ Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart provided powerful reverse jabs at the Heat. Jaylen shot an ominous warning to the Heat, saying they better not let the Celts win another game. Before game 4, Marcus had retorted: “Don’t let us get one.” Instead of talking about what they needed to do to take the next game, they placed the onus squarely on the Heat to take the game – and the series – away, or else the Celts would take it all. Now facing a more manageable and clearly winnable 3-2 deficit, the Celts want themselves to believe they have taken the momentum in this series.

But what really gives with these Boston-balling Celtics? They seem like a Jekyll-and-Hyde type of team that can be smooth as silk in one spurt, and then erratic and confused on the next. They were first seeds for a period when they couldn’t seem to do anything wrong. Then they went through an era of comedic errors, subsequently landing them the 2nd seed for the playoffs. The team’s stars – Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown – can blow hot and blow cold. Which version do we get for the 6th edition of this series?

The Miami Heat are a more predictable team. They may have stepped off the gas pedal a bit after that seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead. And their performance dip can also be attributed to the absence of starting point guard, Gabe Vincent, who hurt his ankle in game 4. But by and large, they have been demonstrating that they are the steadier team, with Jimmy ‘Friggin’ Butler at the helm. That overconfidence, however, could backfire on them, should the Celtics be able to ride the momentum.

The Celtics will strive for quicker ball movement around the perimeter to solve the Heat’s zone defense. Robert Williams will play a crucial role in the middle, in order to keep the Heat’s zone honest. They will need to quicken the pace, in order to deny the Heat time to organize their defense.

To deny the Celts their 3s, the Heat will make adjustments with their zone defense, which the Celts have completely demolished in the last 2 games. They will try to slow down the pace, the better for their older stars. Butler is the hub of the offense, with the rest ready to fire away when Jimmy gets the double team.

There are other under-the-radar factors to consider as well. Is the Heat’s Gabe Vincent – with his sprained ankle – available for game 6? Will the Celts’ Malcolm Brogdon’s injured forearm bother his shooting form? Which support elements will shine this time? Will it be the Heat’s Vincent, Max Strus, Caleb Martin, Duncan Robinson, plus the 2 KLs, Kyle Lowry and Kevin Love? Or will it be the Celtics’ Smart, Derrick White, Al Horford and the 2 Williams, Robert and Grant?

Ultimately, this will be a battle of the stars, the Heat’s Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Jimmy and Bam will fire away from the middle, while the Double Js will lead their assault from the perimeter. Whichever duo will show up, and impose their will on the other, will win the eastern conference crown.

The Celtics have the momentum. They have the better record, the better players on paper. The Heat have the homecourt for Game 6. My head sez it’s the Celtics. But my heart goes to the Heat. I got the Heat taking Game 6, to win the series!

Cover photo courtesy of NBC Sports.


  1. Kung minsan tinatanong ko ang sarili kung papaano naging sikat ang basketball sa Pinas…hindi kasi masyadong matangkad ang mga lalaking Pinoy: baka ibinababa ang taas ng basket o nag-tatagay para makatalon nang mas mataas

    Liked by 1 person

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