Our Heat Season Companion Part 21 article discusses the Heat’s Game 1 win against the Celtics in Boston. The Heat won 123-116 and have yet again stolen home-court advantage. This is the Heat’s third-straight Game 1 win on the road in the 2023 Playoffs. Let’s dive deeper into this Miami Heat victory.
Heat Season Companion Part 21: Butler and Adebayo Combined for 55 Points in Game 1
The Heat have made it to the Eastern Conference Finals thanks to overall great play from the entire team. However, as always, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler had to lead the team in Game 1 as the team’s two stars. They did just that.
Jimmy Butler scored an efficient 35 points, going 12-25 from the field and 2-4 from three-point range in Game 1. Butler also had seven assists, six steals, and five rebounds in this game. Butler is having a phenomenal post-season run and his play is one of the biggest reasons why the Heat could very well reach the 2023 NBA Finals.
Bam Adebayo scored 20 points on 9-13 shooting in Game 1. Adebayo did shoot 2-5 from the free-throw line, but he made 81% of his free throws in the regular season, so that trend is unlikely to continue. He added eight rebounds and five assists in Game 1, too. Naturally, Adebayo played his typical stifling defense and helped the Heat rally from a nine-point halftime deficit.
Caleb Martin, Kyle Lowry, Max Strus, and Gabe Vincent Each Had 15 Points
In order to win this series, the Heat’s bench players have to play well. Lowry and Martin both played well in Game 1, each of them scoring 15 points. Lowry also contributed one steal, three assists, and three rebounds. Martin had four rebounds, three assists, and two steals along with his 15 points.
Gabe Vincent and Max Strus both scored 15 points in Game 1, as well. Martin, Lowry, Vincent, and Strus combined for 60 points in Game 1. The Heat will have to continue to get consistent production from these four players to win the Eastern Conference Finals.
Heat Season Companion Part 21: The Heat Shot 52% From Three-Point Range in Game 1
The Heat’s three-point shooting was fantastic in Game 1, making 52% of their three-point attempts. In general, the Heat have shot well from three-point range in the playoffs. Duncan Robinson went 0-for-2 from three-point range, but he was the exception, not the rule.
Gabe Vincent and Max Strus both went 3-5 from three-point range. Kevin Love made two out of the three three-point shots he took. Butler only took four three-point shots, but he made two of them, including a clutch late 3 to seal the Game 1 win for Miami. I would expect the Heat to cool off from three-point range a bit in Game 2, but the Heat will have to keep shooting well from three-point range overall to win this series.
The Heat Dominated the Celtics in the Third Quarter of Game 1
Down nine at halftime, the momentum was on the Celtics’ side as the home fans cheered on their beloved team. Then the third quarter happened. The Heat absolutely dominated the Celtics in the third quarter of Game 1, outscoring them 46-25.
By the end of the third quarter, the Heat were up 12 and had stolen all the momentum from the Celtics. The Celtics did outscore the Heat slightly in the fourth quarter, 25-20, but it was not enough as the Heat held on for the win. The Heat tightened the screws defensively as Butler and Adebayo led the way on both ends as the Heat rolled in the third quarter.
The Heat Remain in Boston for Game 2
Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals is in Boston on Friday. The Heat put the Celtics on the back foot already in the series thanks to their Game 1 win. Now, the Heat have the opportunity to increase the pressure on the Celtics with another road win in Game 2. I would bet that Butler scores at least 25 points in Game 2, regardless of the outcome.
Check back next week for more Miami Heat content.