Stephen A Smith Makes Bold Claim Regarding Celtics Playoff Chances

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

Getty Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

For some reason, the Boston Celtics continue to look incapable of stringing back-to-back victories together, having failed to do so for the majority of the Milwaukee Bucks series and dropping two of their first three games against the Miami Heat.

Yet, in what should be deemed an encouraging sign, Boston’s last two defeats have been self-inflicted, largely due to turnovers and defensive lapses. Take game three for example; on May 21, the Celtics turned the rock over 23 times, giving up 33 points as a result – yet they only lost by six.

So, logic would dictate that if Boston can rectify some of their current issues, they would have no problem taking control of their Eastern Conference Finals matchup, something which ESPN’S Stephen A Smith seems to agree with.


Stephen A. still has the Celtics beating the Heat in 7️⃣ games | First TakeStephen A. still has the Celtics beating the Heat in 7️⃣ games | First Take Stephen A. Smith and JJ Redick preview Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. #ESPN #NBA #FirstTake ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ espnplus.com/youtube ✔️ Get the ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn ✔️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE…2022-05-23T15:03:47Z

“I picked the Celtics to win this series in seven games, and I expect them to win this series in seven games. I think that they’re the better team; that’s not to throw any shade on Miami; they have been very impressive; we’ve got to look at them and respect what they bring to the table…But, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are who they are, Marcus Smart is who is, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year,” Stephen A Smit said on a recent episode of First Take.


Matt Barnes is Expecting More From Jayson Tatum

Tatum had his worst game of the post-season on May 21, finishing the game with just 10 points on 21.4% shooting from the field and 14.3% from deep; couple that with his six turnovers, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Speaking on a recent episode of SportsCenter, former NBA champion Matt Barnes sounded out Tatum, noting that for the Celtics to make it to the NBA finals, their star wing will need to up his game – and more importantly, find some consistency.


VideoVideo related to stephen a smith makes bold claim regarding celtics playoff chances2022-05-23T16:00:37-04:00

“It was just one of those off-nights, and you know, he had one against Milwaukee Bucks in that series, and this is just a time that you can’t have off-nights. Three-for-fourteen, and obviously, you want to credit Miami’s defense because they made them tough looks.” Barnes said.


Celtics Looking to Even the Series

Following their May 21 loss, the Celtics now trial the Heat two games to one and will need to take advantage of being on their home court before heading back to South Beach for game five. Boston is under pressure to win their next game, so they’re not forced to win three straight, which is the situation they would find themselves in if they drop another game at home.

Luckily for the Celtics, the Heat are looking a little worn down. Tyler Herro will miss game four due to a groin injury, while Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Max Strus, and Gabe Vincent will all dress for the game and participate in warm-ups but will be game-time decisions for the coaching staff.

Obviously, the Celtics have their own injury worries, with Marcus Smart and Robert Williams both listed as questionable heading into the day. Still, the Celtics should have enough talent and depth to grind out a victory against the Heat on May 23, allowing them some breathing space heading into game five, where both teams will be looking to force the others hand and pile on the pressure.

 

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