The Miami Heat ranked last (109.5 points) in the average scoring category in the 2022-2023 season of the NBA regular league. Tyler Hiro, a leading shooting guard with an average of 20.1 points, suffered a fractured right hand in the first game of the playoffs and was out of the game. Key sixth man Victor Oladipo suffered a season-out injury during Game 3 of the first round.
However, Miami eliminated the Milwaukee Bucks, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, in five games in the first round of the playoffs. In the second round, he calmed the New York Knicks’ blast. Starting as the 8th seed, he demonstrated his strength to advance to the conference finals.
Miami is looking to build momentum and become the first eight-seeded team to make the NBA Finals since the 1999 New York Knicks.
Miami defeated the Boston Celtics 123-116 in the first leg of the 2022-2023 season NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals (4 out of 7) held in Boston, USA on the 18th (Korean time).
Boston, the second seed in the Eastern Conference, defeated the Philadelphia 76ers led by Joel Embiid and James Harden after a close game from the second round to the seventh game and advanced to the conference finals for the second year in a row.
Although they had a bloody battle in the 7th game, the evaluation of being ahead in objective power prevailed, and there was also the advantage of playing the first game of the series in the home room. However, Miami, as it did throughout the playoffs this year, overturned expectations and won its first away win.
With this, Miami wrote a record by winning the first leg of the playoff series three times in a row from the first round to the conference finals. It is the fifth record in NBA history.
An away win is a must for a lower seeded team. In a situation where there is no home advantage and even an away win, it is difficult to expect an ‘upset (a lower seeded team beating a higher seeded team)’. In 1999, the New York Knicks followed the same path as Miami. In the Eastern Conference playoffs, they won the first leg of the away game three times in a row and were able to advance to the finals.
Miami looked difficult to match Boston in a firefight. This is a team that has come this far with ever-changing defense and organization rather than scoring power.
However, Miami overpowered Boston in a power struggle in Game 1. He broke the Boston defense by recording a 54.1% field goal (2-point shot + 3-point shot) success rate and a 51.6% 3-point shot success rate (16 successful).
Miami was trailing Boston 57-66 in the first half. However, in the 12th minute of the third quarter, Boston overcame it 46-25 and turned the tide. In the 4th quarter, Jimmy Butler played an active role at every critical moment and kept the lead until the end.
It is not an exaggeration to say that this year’s best player in the playoffs, Jimmy Butler’s performance was amazing on this day as well. Butler led the team to victory with 35 points, 7 assists and 6 steals. He boasted overwhelming dominance, including two steals from the match, an assist that made Caleb Martin’s three-point shot, and a three-point shot that put a wedge in the game.
Butler played an average of 39.5 minutes in 11 playoff games this year, recording 31.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and a field goal success rate of 52.2%.
In the playoffs, Butler attempted 3.6 3-pointers, more than twice the average of the regular league, and boasted a high hit rate of 37.5%. When his opponent’s intensive defense did not clear the way for the attack, he showed great concentration even though he threw many 3-point shots with the defender nearby.
Butler’s stat line (more than 30 points – more than 5 rebounds – more than 5 assists – more than 5 steals) is a record that is hard to come by, especially in a playoff away game with a lot of pressure. However, Butler has already written this same stat line twice on a playoff trip.안전놀이터
Since the 1973-1974 season when steals were counted as an official record in the NBA, only another player has posted a 30-5-5-5 stat line twice on playoff trips like Butler. A name that can be imagined enough, is Michael Jordan, the ‘Basketball Emperor’.