Heat's Historic Shooting Leaves Celtics Contemplating: 'We Gotta Respond'

Apr 24, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin (16) shoots for three over Sam Hauser of the Boston Celtics.
Apr 24, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin (16) shoots for three over Sam Hauser of the Boston Celtics. / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Combing through the Miami Heat's roster won't leave one fearful of the team's three-point prowess. But players good enough to be rotation players in the postseason are starting with a high floor. Erik Spoelstra, the best active head coach in the NBA, and his staff then craft a scheme that maximizes their individual and collective talent.

The Boston Celtics have dealt with this in the playoffs more than any other opponent in recent years. The two sides have squared off in four of the last five postseasons, including three of the last four Eastern Conference Finals.

In last year's best-of-seven, Miami rendered being the less talented of the two irrelevant. The same goes for the lack of respect shown to the Heat's capabilities from beyond the arc.

Caleb Martin, a career 35.7% three-point shooter on an average of just 3.0 attempts, converted on 48.9% of his 6.4 triples. 

Miami, featuring a roster filled with players not considered much of a threat from behind the arc, made 43.4% of its threes, a critical component of how the Heat raced out to a 3-0 series lead before besting the Celtics in Game 7 to advance to the NBA Finals.

Fast forward to Wednesday night at TD Garden, and it felt like deja vu.

Martin, relishing the role of the villain and the chorus of boos that came with it after his hard foul on Jayson Tatum in Game 1, drilled 5/6 threes and put 21 points on the board.

The visitors knocked down a franchise-record 23 triples, faring 23/43 (53.5%) from behind the arc.

"(It) may be a coincidence, maybe it's not," Jayson Tatum said of Miami's impressive shooting displays that span multiple postseason matchups vs. Boston. 

"(It's) something we've gotta figure out, honestly. They hit some tough shots from the three-point line, and some were open. And maybe some easier ones earlier in the game got them more comfortable (and) got them in a rhythm."

When Jaylen Brown arrived at the podium after the Celtics' 111-101 loss, sending the series to South Beach tied at one, he also shared his perspective on how the Heat have repeatedly exceeded expectations and compiled impressive performances from beyond the arc against Boston.

"I think they're well-coached, and I think that's a credit to their coaching staff and organization," voiced Brown. "They put together a good game plan for them, and they come out feeling confident, and they come out and execute. I think that's what they do. And tonight was an example of that. 

"I just thought they made a lot of shots that we're normally comfortable with, but it's the playoffs. It is what it is, so we gotta adjust and play ball. So, we gotta respond."

Further Reading

Jaylen Brown on Confronting Caleb Martin: 'Got My Guy's Back'

The Keys to Kristaps Porzingis Containing Bam Adebayo and What to Watch for in Game 2

Celtics Bench Stars in Its Role in Game 1 Win vs. Heat: 'An Identity of Our Team'

Jayson Tatum Discusses First-Career Playoff Triple-Double: 'A Beautiful Game'

Celtics Protect the Parquet in Dominant Display in Game 1 vs. Heat

Kristaps Porzingis Makes Clear What Celtics' Mindset is Entering Playoffs

How do the Heat Adapt Without Jimmy Butler? Joe Mazzulla Weighs in

Brad Stevens Addresses Potential Extension with Derrick White

Celtics Embracing Challenge to Go Beyond Most Talented

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Bobby Krivitsky


Bobby Krivitsky's experiences include covering the NBA as a credentialed reporter for Basketball Insiders. He's also a national sports talk host for SportsMap Radio, a network airing on 96 radio stations throughout the country. Additionally, he was a major-market host, update anchor, and producer for IMG Audio, and he worked for Bleacher Report as an NFL and NBA columnist.