After the Celtics convincingly defeated Miami on May 19, the narrative quickly became that the Heat would be lucky to win one more game in the series, primarily due to the Celtics’ strength in depth.
Former NBA champion Stephen Jackson is the latest person to throw their weight behind Boston, noting how the Celtics’ game two victory on Miami’s home court is the perfect indication of the difference in strength between these two rosters.
“After last night, it’s looking like Boston is going to win the series in six games. You don’t get like that at home in the playoffs, that basically means that team is 10 times better than you. If Boston makes shots, it’s clear they win this series. And if anybody is expecting Jimmy Butler to get you 40 a night, you haven’t been watching basketball very long.
Jimmy will get you 35, get you 25, will make plays, and will be the most well-rounded player on the court. But, his team is still limited. Boston has the deeper team, they have the Defensive Player of the Year, they have the two best scorers in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, and Miami just doesn’t have enough,” Jackson said on a recent episode of The Undisputed.
Butler Was ‘Embarrassed’ After Celtics Loss
Jimmy Butler is the heartbeat of this Heat team; there’s no denying it. The star wing has become a complete player during his time on South Beach and is consistently working to encourage and inspire his teammates.
So, when Butler speaks, it’s fair to assume the Heat roster sits up and takes notice. And following Miami’s game two loss to the Celtics, Butler made sure to send a message to his teammates, letting them know that Boston had come into the building looking for revenge and embarrassed their team as a result.
“They whipped our tail on our home floor. I don’t see us doing that again…You do gotta move on, but I don’t like to move on from this because it has to hurt. They tried to embarrass us. They did embarrass us. We gotta realize that, use it as fuel,” Butler told the media following the Heat’s loss on May 19.
Kyle Lowry to Suit Up For Game Three
We might be heading into the third game of the series between Miami and Boston, but we’re yet to see either roster at full strength. Luckily, the Heat are one step closer to their preferred starting five being back on the floor and will be buoyed by the news that Kyle Lowry will be suiting up ‘with the intention to play’ in game three on May 21.
Speaking of Lowry’s potential return to the rotation, Spoelstra spoke glowingly of the veteran guard and what he can bring to the Heat against a Celtics team known for their defensive intensity and ability to shut guys down on the perimeter.
“Obviously, you have a Hall of Fame point guard. It won’t be 40 minutes. But whatever his minutes are, he has the experience and resume. You can’t necessarily put a weight to it; you just know what it means to your team, especially in a building like this, on the road,” Spoelstra told reporters at the Sun Sentinal.
The Heat will be under mounting pressure in game three, as they bid to reclaim momentum from the Celtics in front of their home crowd at the TD Garden, but they should be encouraged by the fact that Boston lost two games at home against the Milwaukee Bucks, meaning Miami has a good chance of regaining control of this series.