Do the Boston Celtics, who lost 3-1, really have a chance to win the ECF?

Until 2018, it was considered impossible for a 16 seed to defeat a 1 seed in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. This happened twice in the 2023 tournament. THE Boston Red Sox It was a franchise for 103 years before they became the first MLB team to return to the 3-0 deficit. Right now NBA teams are 0-150 in the playoffs when they fall into that hole. THE Boston Celtics he looked like he would go 151st until a burned-out shooting night accompanied by a strikeout. Miami Heat turnovers kept their season alive.

There was also an injury due to the Heat. The starting guard was Gabe Vincent out of the question due to an ankle injury suffered in Game 4. The 3-point shot took him past the Heat Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, and in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics’ defense largely collapsed. (THe New York Knicks (he shot so badly in the semi-finals that there was no need for a three-pointer.)

The public most likely won’t get any diagnosis on Vincent’s ankle until the day of the Heat’s next game, whether it’s Saturday’s home Game 6 or Game 1. June 1 in Denver. However, losing the second game in a row wouldn’t put any unpleasant pressure on them. Even in 1995-96 Chicago Bulls lost two straight to the Seattle Supersonics in the Finals before cruising to a Game 6 victory.

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Just because it might happen doesn’t mean it will happen

Mathematically, the second-seeded Celtics have the potential to be the best and most ironic event in NBA history. But realistically, how likely are the Celtics to keep the only No. 8 seed in NBA history from making the NBA Finals in a non-shortened season?

They’d better hope the law of averages works out in their favor and the Heat’s shooting comes crashing back down to earth. The Celtics were terrible from the 3-point line, while the Heat were pretty damn magical. In two of the four games, the Heat made more than 50 percent of their three-point attempts. The tide turned in Game 4 as the Heat shot an abysmal 25 percent from three while the Celtics shot a healthy 40 percent.

Despite what the Celtics have done wrong in this series, if the Heat can continue to shoot from three anywhere close to what they did in the regular season — fourth-worst in the league — they’ll have a golden opportunity to win Game 5. and subsequent matches.

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As good as the Heat’s shooting has been in this series, it wasn’t until Game 3 that it really gave the Celtics a chance to win. In game The Heat’s 12-point lead to Boston’s 1 was quickly cut in half in the fourth quarter. In Game 2, the Celtics led by double digits twice in the final 12 minutes.

The Celtics are inconsistent at home

Self-inflicted mistakes put them in a disastrous position – 2-0 down in the first two games. Balls plagued the Celtics in Game 1. Always that they scored within two possessions in the fourth quarter, turned the ball over.

Then in Game 2 they had a lead it became a weakness over the heat. The Celtics have outplayed the Heat in every phase of the Eastern Conference — total, defensive, and offensive. However, in that game they lost control of the glass.

The Heat out-rebounded the Celtics by 10 in the fourth quarter, including some quarterbacks on the offensive end. With 1:20 left in the game, the Celtics trailed by three points and forced the Heat into two turnovers, but failed to get the offensive rebound both times. The third time was the charm as the Heat went up by five.

With Vincent out, the Celtics’ chances of winning Game 5 have improved significantly, but even if both teams were healthy, they would still have better rosters. They had the best net rating in the NBA during the regular season and were the only team in the top five in both offense and defense.

The season is on the line, but their better roster is complete – sans the hand injury Jaylen Brown is playing on. If the Heat’s 3-point shooting percentage flattens and the Celtics stop shooting themselves on the foot, a double-blitz in Boston is likely, not impossible.