With their backs up against the wall, the Boston Celtics claimed their first win of the Eastern Conference Finals Tuesday evening, besting the Miami Heat by a final score of 116-99. Now, the club heads back to Massachusetts for a Game 5 on Thursday night where they hope this positive energy will carry over.
Unfortunately for them, however, Heat star Jimmy Butler doesn’t seem to believe that a major shift in favor of the Celtics is coming, as the wing informed reporters during his post-game media session that he’s not all that worried about momentum being “on the Boston side of things.”
“If anything it’ll build momentum for us knowing that we have to play with a lot more energy. We have to play like our backs are against the wall but I think all year long we’ve been better whenever we’ve had to do things our way,” Jimmy Butler said.
In a follow-up statement, Butler mentioned that despite the loss to the Celtics, in preparation for Game 5, he and his teammates are “going to fall on old habits,” specifically noting that they’re “going to smile, we’re going to be in this thing together like we always are, and we’re going to get one on the road.”
Jayson Tatum Dishes on Celtics Mindset After Game 3 Loss
Being down 3-0 and coming off a disastrous blowout loss to the Heat in Sunday’s Game 3, many expected morale and confidence to be rather low within the Celtics locker room heading into Tuesday’s affair.
However, instead, Boston seemingly managed to shove any low thoughts and feelings aside and put forth their best performance of round three, and, during his post-game media session, star forward Jayson Tatum explained the mindset that kept their heads high and eyes focused on achieving that highly coveted first win of the series.
“We’re just trying to take it one game at a time. We didn’t play well those first three games [and] we didn’t deserve to win. But we didn’t want that to define us, to define the season. And we still got a long, uphill battle to go but tonight was a good start,” Jayson Tatum said.
Jayson Tatum paved the way toward victory for the Celtics and easily had his best showing of this year’s Eastern Conference Finals in Game 4, as he posted a tremendous all-around stat line of 33 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal while shooting 63.6% from the floor and 44.4% from deep.
Grant Williams Opens Up on Defensive Goal for Celtics
For the first time in this year’s conference finals, the Heat seemed to struggle with their offensive game, particularly from long-range and failed to eclipse the century mark for just the second time this postseason.
Discussing their defensive approach during a post-game interview, Celtics big man Grant Williams provided insight on the defensive agenda that his team abides by when squaring off against Miami.
“This team beats you by playing harder than you and knocking down those [3-pointers] and open opportunities so we just have to maintain our pressure, maintain that perspective. Understanding that no matter what’s going on just make that extra effort… Even when we’re tired we get back and we don’t allow easy transition baskets because that’s how leads slip,” Grant Williams said.
Coming into Game 4, Miami was shooting lights out against the Celtics, converting on 51.9% of their attempts from the field and 47.8% from deep. Tuesday night, however, Boston held the Heat to just 43.6% shooting from the floor and a lowly 25.0% from beyond the arc.