Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler Does It Again In ECF Game 1 W, 118-107

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) dunks over Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) dunks over Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /

As the Miami Heat kicked off their 202 NBA Eastern Conference duel with the Boston Celtics, both teams should have been ready to play. Well, the Boston Celtics certainly were, coming out looking like the much hungrier team through the first quarter of play.

The Miami Heat would hit back as the first half went on, but at the end of it, they would still find themselves down by more than you should ever be comfortable with when in a Conference or League Finals game.

Taking an eight-point deficit into the half, 62-54, the Miami Heat knew they couldn’t play the same way in the second half if they were to win the game. On top of allowing the Boston Celtics to go for 62 points, in general, 40 or more of those points were allowed in the paint.

For a team like the Miami Heat who had prided themselves on protecting their paint, leading the league in the category in the regular season at only 41.3 points allowed in the paint per game, they had allowed that many in just one half on Tuesday.

The Miami Heat looked as though they would drop Game 1 of the ECF after a putrid first half. Then, everything changed as they came off the halftime break.

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Then something must’ve clicked for Miami at the half.

They would come out to start the second half on a massive run of their own. It was that one that would seal the deal for the Miami Heat.

The renewed team production on both sides could be blamed on many, it was that one man who continued to lead the show for Miami Heat in Game 1. Jimmy Butler continued his streak of dominance through these 2022 NBA Playoffs and on both sides of the ball.

Going for 41 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four steals, and three blocks in the game, Jimmy Butler would continue to showcase the fact that outside of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is no longer in the NBA Playoffs after these same Celtics sent him home, that he has been the best player left standing this postseason.

The Miami Heat have a chance to go get some rest and prepare to do it all over again in a few days. Thursday will be another battle and they’d better be ready.

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They’d also serve themselves great to not make it so hard next time. All’s well that ends well though.