“I think that Miami’s tenacity wore them down,” Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard told me Monday afternoon on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.
“And Jimmy Butler said it, ‘Boston’s a more talented team, but they’re young.'”
While the Heat eliminated the Celtics 125-113 in the best of seven series on Sunday, Jimmy Butler’s 22 points and eight assists wasn’t the only show in town for Miami.
In fact, Heat big man, Bam Adebayo showed out in full force and even put the icing on the cake. One of Adebayo’s biggest highlights in Sunday’s game was his monstrous dunk on Celtics big man Daniel Theis in the fourth quarter.
With the Celtics holding a 97-96 lead with 6:49 remaining in the game, Adebayo, a third-year forward out of Kentucky took Theis off the dribble, drove to the hoop and threw down the splashy dunk, much to the delight of his Heat teammates.
“Bam is one of the great competitors already in this association,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, following Sunday’s game.
“He’s going to become one of the great winners in the history just because he’s so competitive. He moves the needle in every single day. You can’t put an analytic to his game and that’s probably why he was overlooked in college. He competes every single possession. He’s really going into a leadership role. Way beyond his years. His offensive game is just growing daily. And he wants the responsibility, and he wants the accountability, and he isn’t afraid of putting that responsibility on his shoulders, and that’s what he did the other night.”
Adebayo finished the game with 32 points, 14 rebound and five assists in the win.
A rising star in the NBA, Adebayo took blame for Miami’s Game 5 loss to Boston on Friday. In Game 5, Celtics All-Star, Jayson Tatum played hero in that win. The Duke product scored 31 points, hauled in 10 rebounds and dished out six assists in Boston’s 121-108 victory and his teammate, Jaylen Brown chipped in with 28 points and eight rebounds.
“I let my teammates down in Game 5,” Adebayo said after Game 6.
“I had to realign myself with who I really want to become and I showed that tonight. You say you haven’t seen me be a scorer in the fourth before? Well, there ya go.”
Adebayo’s Game 6 performance was clutch for the Heat. In addition to his showing , Andre Iguodala had 15 points, Tyler Herro added 19 points, five rebounds and 7 assists, Goran Dragic chipped in with 13 points and seven assists and Duncan Robinson chipped in with 15 point and six rebounds.
The Heat outscored the Celtics 33-27 in the first quarter and in the fourth quarter and 37-27 in the fourth quarter.
“Kemba has never been on this stage before,” Chris Broussard told me on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.
“And granted, you can say the same for Miami but Jayson Tatum is still a young guy as great as he is. And Jaylen Brown.”
Kemba Walker chipped in with 20 points, five assists and two rebounds in the loss. Walker averaged 19.7 points and 4.7 assists. Walker’s digits were a smidge under his season averages of 20.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists that he averaged in the regular season.
Tatum finished Sunday’s game with 24 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists and Jaylen Brown added 26 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the loss.
Worth noting: The Heat also shot the ball better than the Celtics in Game 6.
Miami shot 53.7% from the field and also got 26 free throw attempts. “They’re a small team for the most part,” Chris Broussard said of the Celtics.
“And I think that Miami was tougher, more tenacious, grittier and Brad Stevens is a good coach. Spoelsta outcoached him in this series.”
With Miami’s win on Sunday, the NBA’s Eastern Conference Champions face LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the NBA’s Western Conference Champions in the NBA Finals.
Game 1 tips off on Wednesday.