3 Adjustments the Heat can make to compete with the Celtics in Game 2

In the Heat's blowout loss in Game 1, there were several takeaways from a game that showed Miami needs to make some key adjustments.
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics Game One
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics Game One / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

During Sunday's opening game of the NBA playoffs, the Miami Heat got blitzed by the rival Boston Celtics. Boston came out firing, jumping to a rather quick double-digit lead that included a barrage of 3-pointers. The Heat were able to weather the storm and cut it to a three-point deficit at one point earlier in the second quarter, but then let go of the rope afterward. Miami lost by a final score of 114-94 and will now head into Game 2 down 0-1 in the series.

With a loss like this comes an opportunity for adjustments, with coach Erik Spoelstra being one of the best in the business at making them. If there is anything the regular season showed in regards to that, Spoelstra is not afraid to make lineup changes and tweaks. The Heat were near the top of the league in the amount of starting lineups they used (35). Being without Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier's services due to injury does not help.

Nikola Jovic showed some promise with a few impressive plays in the game, but he was a team-worst minus-25. Tyler Herro and Caleb Martin both were no-shows in a game where their offensive capabilities were needed. Haywood Highsmith is another guy who has looked rough in his minutes since the start of that first play-in game.

Let's go over three key adjustments that Spoelstra should opt to consider moving forward in this series.

1. Expanding the minutes and roles of a pair of supporting cast players

Delon Wright has earned more playing time. Wright single-handedly kept the Heat in the game during the fourth quarter with his two-way game. He recorded 17 points on 6 of 7 shooting, including 5 of 5 from deep and two steals in 26 bench minutes. His spark was inspiring, and he proved that he can be an impactful role player on this squad moving forward.

Kevin Love has been consistently effective in his bench role all season long. He brings so much experience and trust to the table, knowing that he can be relied on in spurts. Per 36 minutes, Love has averaged around 19 points and 14 rebounds per game. Both of these guys need to get some more playing time.

With Martin and Highsmith struggling to make shots, both Wright and Love can provide an immediate boost in different ways. Wright's point-of-attack defense and confident 3-point shooting can bring a well-rounded element to a backcourt that is missing Rozier. Spoelstra also needs to find a way to pair Love with Bam Adebayo during stretches rather than mostly play in Adebayo's place whenever he needs a breather -- something he experimented with a bit in Game 1.

Unlocking more of "point Jovic" can help Miami push the pace. Jovic showcased his mobility and playmaking during last summer's FIBA World Cup. Having him push the tempo and trusting him to handle the ball more can help open more possibilities.

2. Limiting second-chance opportunities for Boston

The Heat struggled to keep the Celtics off the glass in Game 1 and gave up 10 offensive rebounds. Fortunately for the Heat, the Celtics did not capitalize on second-chance opportunities as much as they should have, scoring just 11 points off those chances.

However, there were several Boston possessions in which Miami earned the stop but couldn't secure the ball afterward, which put the Heat in a position to lose momentum.

3. Match the 3-point volume and efficiency of Boston

This is arguably the most important adjustment here. Miami often prefers to play games "in the mud" and grind it out, but the Celtics volume from 3-point range didn't make that possible in Game 1. They got up 20 attempts from deep by the beginning of the second quarter alone. Will Manso of Bally Sports Florida noticed that Heat players acknowledged this after the game.

The Heat passed up several good looks and overpassed at times during the game. Ideally, they should want to play their style and slow the game down. Miami can aim to get through some possessions like this throughout the game, but they cannot sustain that with the way the Celtics get so many shots up from long range.

The only way to get through this would be to at least get close to matching that offensive style. There are capable shooters on this team and, in the words of former Heatle Mike Miller, they need to "let it fly."