Bam Adebayo says Heat's 'back is against the wall' in series vs Celtics

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Three
Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Three / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Playoff hopes continues to fall as the Boston Celtics dominated the Miami Heat 102-88 in Game 4 of the first-round series. Miami was undermanned and outperformed. They didn’t have an answer for the Celtics’ star-studded group on either end of the floor. 

Boston has a luxury that many other teams would only dream of. They know excatly who the No. 1 and No. 2 options are, but either one of their starters can turn into the star for the night. On Monday, it was Derrick White. 

The Celtics dealt with underwhelming scoring performances from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Both stars didn’t attempt to take over the game. They tossed the keys to White on the offensive end and gave big-time defensive assignments to Al Horford. 

White finished the first quarter with 16 points, shooting 4-5 from three. He eventually ended the game with 38 points. Tatum knocked in 20 for Boston, and Brown scored 17. 

“That first quarter is really our issue right now,” Bam Adebayo said.

The matchup looked like Boston figured out their game plan and how they were going to attack Miami, leaving the Heat reacting to every move. They constantly had to move the pawn after the Celtics and the board wound up shifting too far for Miami to come back. 

Boston’s offense dominated 1-on-1 matchups and the Heat thought they had the firepower to hit them with the same scheme. The Celtics had 21 assists on the night, while Miami recorded 17. Neither of those numbers are worth getting excited about. 

Miami also produced one of its worst offensive performances of the entire season. The Heat shot 27.3% from distance and 40.7% from the field. They had zero help off the bench, and no one was able to catch fire at any point in the game. 

“We got to keep making plays. Shoot the ball, and we just live with that result, no matter if it go in or not,” Adebayo said.

Adebayo led the Heat with 25 points and 17 rebounds. Those are phenomenal numbers on the stat sheet, yet Adebayo never looked dominant. Tyler Herro had 19 points and four assists, while Caleb Martin tallied 18 points and five rebounds. 

The Heat will head to Boston for a potential elimination game on Wednesday. If they are able to find another spark from beyond the arc and magically learn how to defend 1-on-1, they have a chance. If not, it seems Game 5 will conclude the season for Miami. 

“We're going into the lions den," Adebayo said. "Everybody knows what’s at stake, it’s 3-1. Back is against the wall. You have to respond."