Skip to main content

3 Things We Learned From Heat-Celtics Eastern Conference Finals Game 4 On Monday

The Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat 102-82 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday to even up this series at 2-2 heading back to Miami for Game 5.

If you are trying to pick the winner of this series or just the winner of a game in this series, you might as well assign the Boston Celtics to odd numbers and the Miami Heat to even numbers, blindfold yourself and roll a pair of dice.

These two teams are very evenly matched on both ends of the floor, but this series has been a complete rollercoaster ride with both teams handing one another some of their worst losses of the season!

Heading into Game 4 on Monday, the Heat led this series 2-1 after beating the Celtics in Game 3 by six points. However, they led by as many as 26 points, so maybe this truly was not as close of a win as many would have imagined.

Knowing that their backs were up against the wall and they needed to show out in a big way compared to what transpired in Game 3, the Celtics came out hot in the first quarter of Game 4, outscoring the Heat by 18 points and holding them to just 11 points on 3-20 shooting.

Defensively, Boston was locked in for this game and as they continued to get stops on defense, their offense began to click. Even with Marcus Smart sidelined due to an ankle injury, the Celtics were still able to roll past Miami with one of their best defensive performances of the season, picking up a 102-82 victory in a game they led by as many as 32 points in.

Scoring 31 points on 8-16 shooting, Jayson Tatum looked like his All-Star self after a poor 10-point performance in Game 3. Not only did the Celtics do a great job defensively on Miami, but they attacked them every chance they got, ending up going 32-38 from the free-throw line.

Boston should not expect to shoot this many free-throws every night, but their aggressiveness paid off in a big way and we should expect their game plan for Game 5 to be much of the same on offense in terms of attacking the basket from the perimeter.

With this series now tied up at 2-2, there is still virtually no separation between these two teams as they now face a “Best-of-3” scenario with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line.

Game 4 ended up being a blowout victory for the Boston Celtics, but here is what we learned from their victory on Monday night.


Whoever Gets The Most Blowout Wins Advances To The NBA Finals

I mean, seriously, this has to be one of the most inconsistent conference finals series we have ever seen!

For two very evenly matched teams, especially on the defensive-end of the floor, it is really shocking to see how much this series has swung back-and-forth in terms of consistency. Maybe injuries have a lot to do with this, but just look at the trends so far.

The Heat won Game 1 by 11 points, the Celtics won Game 2 by 25 points, the Heat won Game 3 by just 6 points even though they led by as many as 26 points and now the Celtics won Game 4 by 20 points in a game they led by as many as 32 points.

We truly have yet to see a close game between these two teams and while Game 3 turned out to be the closest game in this series with the Heat winning by just 6 points, this game still was not really close.

Heading into Game 5, we could be gearing up to see yet another blowout win by either side, but this likely will not be the case.

Now with this series tied up at 2-2, both teams are going to be feeling a little bit of pressure, especially since a win in Game 5 puts them one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals.

This is when things begin to get very interesting in the series and the first quarter could be very telling as to what will occur in the game.

So far in this series, the team that wins the first quarter has gone on to win three of the four games played, with Game 1 being the only exception. Coming out hot and starting strong has opened up these massive leads in this series and if either side can get going from deep early on in Game 5 on Wednesday, then we could be in store for yet another blowout victory.


Boston Continues To Dominate Majority Of Series

This series may only be 2-2, but when you break things down by quarter, the Celtics are leading the Heat 9-3 in quarters won and the two teams have tied in four different quarters throughout the series.

Just based on this, many would tend to think the Celtics are leading this series and possibly going for a chance to close it out in Game 5.

You have to credit the Heat for the job they have done in their two wins, as Miami has outscored Boston by a combined 17 points in those two games, but ultimately, this series is Boston’s to lose right now.

Outside of Jimmy Butler, the rest of the Heat’s roster can be very inconsistent on the offensive-end of the floor and while Bam Adebayo had a terrific Game 3 performance up in Boston, he really has not shown up the rest of the series, averaging just 8.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and shooting 9-15 (60%) from the floor in the three other games of this series.

Not only has Bam Adebayo underperformed, but Tyler Herro is dealing with a groin injury, Kyle Lowry still seems to be a little bothered by a hamstring injury and without production from these guys, the Heat are left leaning on Jimmy Butler to do everything.

From the Celtics’ standpoint, they have Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III to lean on for production, all of which have stepped up at times in this series. Not to mention, Payton Pritchard has given Boston some great minutes off-the-bench.

The Heat are a great defensive team and it should not come as a shock to see them win this series, especially since Game 5 and potentially Game 7 will be on their home floor, but this is the Celtics’ series to lose and they have proven this with their play through four games.


Miami Plays Best Basketball When Attacking Rim

For Miami to win two of the next three games and advance to the NBA Finals, they will not only need other guys outside Jimmy Butler to step up, but they need to stay aggressive on the offensive-end of the floor.

Max Strus, Tyler Herro, Gabe Vincent, Kyle Lowry and some others are capable of knocking down three-pointers, but Boston wants Miami shooting from deep. They have shot just 33.8% from three-point range in this series and when they take perimeter jumpers, the Celtics’ defense is winning.

In the Heat’s two wins in this series, the key aspect that sticks out is that they were aggressive attacking the rim and they were able to score in the paint.

Utilizing the pick-and-roll to their advantage, the Heat have had a ton of success in the postseason driving to the basket off of screens and either converting their layups or getting to the free-throw line.

In Games 1 and 3 of this series, the two games the Heat have won, they have averaged 44.0 points in the paint and have averaged 24.0 free-throw attempts per game. In their two losses in Games 2 and 4, the Heat have averaged just 35.0 points in the paint and have averaged 18.0 free-throw attempts per game.

This is where the difference in this series has been for Miami and if they can tighten things up offensively in Game 5, only taking the open, high-percentage three-pointers, they can take a 3-2 lead in this series heading back to Boston.

It cannot just be Jimmy Butler getting things done offensively. All of the ball-handlers and guards for Miami will need to step up and recognize that aggressiveness on offense leads to wins for them. 

  • Complete 2022 NBA Playoffs Schedule, Results, Gametimes, TV, Point Spreads: Fastbreak on FanNation updates the results and schedule for every 2022 NBA Playoff game. CLICK HERE.
  • Western Conference Finals: Will The Mavericks Avoid Being Swept By The Warriors?: Now down in a 3-0 hole in the Western Conference Finals, do the Dallas Mavericks have any chance of making this series against the Golden State Warriors interesting? CLICK HERE.