The Heat is on, ECF here we come!

nighthob

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Nailed it!
I was going to say "Has anyone checked with Scott Foster's bookie to see who's going to win tonight?" except that with Tony Brothers also working the game he's probably bet the house on Miami.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Well, it was a nice season for a while, but this is a soft team that lacks mental toughness and focus. Hopefully it is just an age thing. But the Celtics ought to be embarassed about the alleged effort they turned in tonight.

I don't think the Heat are the more talented team, but they are clearly and beyond any doubt the better team.
 

slamminsammya

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Well, it was a nice season for a while, but this is a soft team that lacks mental toughness and focus. Hopefully it is just an age thing. But the Celtics ought to be embarassed about the alleged effort they turned in tonight.

I don't think the Heat are the more talented team, but they are clearly and beyond any doubt the better team.
The negativity in this town stinks. The series is not over, teams come back from 3-1 about 5% of the time but that includes lots of series where the talent differential is much greater than this series.
 

luckiestman

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Well, it was a nice season for a while, but this is a soft team that lacks mental toughness and focus.

I can’t agree with this. They were bad, really bad for stretches of this game yet somehow were right there at the end.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Well, it was a nice season for a while, but this is a soft team that lacks mental toughness and focus. Hopefully it is just an age thing. But the Celtics ought to be embarassed about the alleged effort they turned in tonight.

I don't think the Heat are the more talented team, but they are clearly and beyond any doubt the better team.
I don’t know about soft but lack of focus seems to be spot on. Miami is good at forcing turnovers, yes, but so many of their turnovers were just brain dead plays. Dumb travels, Kemba tipping a board into the Miami fast break instead of just grabbing it, Smart carelessly dribbling in a crowd or throwing it at a guy’s feet. 19 turnovers is absolutely inexcusable no matter how good the other team’s defense is, and that was the game tonight.
 

djbayko

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The negativity in this town stinks. The series is not over, teams come back from 3-1 about 5% of the time but that includes lots of series where the talent differential is much greater than this series.
Yeah, if they somehow tie the series, no one will be saying they lacked mental toughness. Teams do come back occasionally, and I'm sure people were saying similar negative things about those teams when down 1-3.

It doesn't look good for sure, but I'm not giving up.
 

lovegtm

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Well, it was a nice season for a while, but this is a soft team that lacks mental toughness and focus. Hopefully it is just an age thing. But the Celtics ought to be embarassed about the alleged effort they turned in tonight.

I don't think the Heat are the more talented team, but they are clearly and beyond any doubt the better team.
This take seems about right. I give the Heat as much credit as anyone, but I know what a playoff effort looks like, and Game 4 from the Celtics was most certainly not that, particularly on offense. No fatigue excuses either.

It's bad that Marcus Smart had to start a fight to get them jacked up for Game 3, and it's bad they could only sustain that for one game. Not sure how the organization addresses this, other than just letting young guys get more mature and hoping things work out.

Herro at #13.........................f me.
 

radsoxfan

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During the draft, I was assured Herro and his alligator arms wouldn't be any good in the NBA. This turn of events makes me sad.

I'm curious if Danny would have taken him at #14....
 

SteveF

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FWIW Scalabrine says he was outside their draft room and could hear audible groans and pounding of tables when Miami picked Herro right before them. (Edit: Technically it was when Woj tweeted Miami was taking Herro.)

Claims in his 5 years covering the Celtics he'd never heard anything like that before on draft night. Take that for what you will.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Well, it was a nice season for a while, but this is a soft team that lacks mental toughness and focus. Hopefully it is just an age thing. But the Celtics ought to be embarassed about the alleged effort they turned in tonight.

I don't think the Heat are the more talented team, but they are clearly and beyond any doubt the better team.
I know this is a reactionary post but both teams were flat in the 1H......I expected it from the Celtics coming off their “must win” but the Heat played below their standard in a game they should have been sky high for coming off a loss. If Herro only has a good game instead of an all-time historical playoff performance the Celtics win comfortably.

I expect the Celtics to come out in G5 as they did in G3 and get a W. I’ve felt and stated all along that Miami is the better team but this is not a 5-game series type of matchup.
 

reggiecleveland

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I know this is a reactionary post but both teams were flat in the 1H......I expected it from the Celtics coming off their “must win” but the Heat played below their standard in a game they should have been sky high for coming off a loss. If Herro only has a good game instead of an all-time historical playoff performance the Celtics win comfortably.

I expect the Celtics to come out in G5 as they did in G3 and get a W. I’ve felt and stated all along that Miami is the better team but this is not a 5-game series type of matchup.
It was like a game after a travel day, and maybe time off in the bubble is worse, both teams were off. I would go as far as Herro having a great game, Cs have a lead in the 4th.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Miami is up 3-1 but they are shooting 43.3% from the field and 32.5% from deep over the four games. The Cs are averaging 47.4% and 35.3% respectively.

So Boston has done a good job defensively but that is where Miami is clearly better. They are winning the turnover battle via steals, with 1.5 more per game than Boston but its their ability to disrupt passing lanes and contest shooters that seems to be the delta.

So the good news is that this series features teams so evenly matched that its possible for Boston to win the next three, even without Miami collapsing. However they are going to have to be better about ball security and against this Heat defense, with their veteran experience as well as wingspan/active hands, that is clearly not easy.
 

djbayko

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Yeah, the turnovers are maddening, especially since so many of them are of the “What were you thinking / who were you passing to?” type.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Yeah, the turnovers are maddening, especially since so many of them are of the “What were you thinking / who were you passing to?” type.
They are maddening but Miami is baiting them into bad passes and they know Boston's tendencies. The Celtics are elite at this stuff (eg deflections) as well statistically - but the Heat are just better. They are, for my money, the most well coached team in the league not named the Spurs. To be fair, their institutional knowledge is incredible from Riley on down to the Heat veterans but the level of buy-in is also remarkable.
 

lovegtm

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They are maddening but Miami is baiting them into bad passes and they know Boston's tendencies. The Celtics are elite at this stuff (eg deflections) as well statistically - but the Heat are just better. They are, for my money, the most well coached team in the league not named the Spurs. To be fair, their institutional knowledge is incredible from Riley on down to the Heat veterans but the level of buy-in is also remarkable.
Second this. My rating of Spoelstra and the organization as a whole has gone way up in this series, and I was already high on them to begin with.

I don't think the qualifier about the Spurs is even necessary anymore.
 

benhogan

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I don't think you can underestimate the effect Jimmy Butler had on the attitude of this team. When your star/max player comes in and talks about 4am workouts and busting ass, pretty much everyone follows suit. Herro certainly did. From day 1 this season, Miami has been committed to no-nonsense.

They also told jokers like Dion Waiters and his fatass to FO. Removed him from the rotation and suspended him 3 different times for his shenanigans pre New Years.
 

lovegtm

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This, to me, is the problem.
If they had a Jimmy Butler-type attitude, this would have been Celtics in 5.

The biggest adjustment in the NBA playoffs is often "do the same stuff, but 15% harder." The Celtics have fallen woefully short in that regard, and based on their postgame quotes, I think they know it.
 

CantKeepmedown

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The carelessness with the ball down the stretch was maddening. Absolutely need to clean that up. And they go through stretches where they get really good looks against that zone. Not much you can do about Herro going off. As poorly as they played, they were right there at the end. If Tatum is even OK in the first half, they probably win. Come out and win Friday night and maybe put a little pressure on them.
 

BigSoxFan

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Miami is winning on the margins and that’s what makes this series so frustrating. They should be tied right now or even up 3-1 but poor execution is why they’re about to get knocked out. Just have to hope they bring it Game 5. All pressure is on Celtics next game. If they win, that pressure starts to shift.
 

bigq

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Tatum with 6 turnovers last night and Smart and Brown with 4 each. The turnovers combined with Miami getting 9 more FGA were key differences in the game. Miami shooting just 27% from three kept the game closer than it probably should have been. Man, Tyler Herro was amazing last night. The Miami bench outscored the Celtics 40-22 largely due to Herro’s 37. Hard to believe he will go off like that again. I think the Celtics can and will win the next game but I have a less rosy outlook that they can win the next three in a row. Last night’s turnover fest (largely driven by Miami’s strong defense) was disappointing and probably killed their chance to win the series.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Had totally forgotten the 12/13/14 were decided by a drawing since Charlotte/Miami/Sacto all ended up tied.

So that’s fun to think about, especially with how much of a fluke season that was for the Kings.
 

joe dokes

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Tatum with 6 turnovers last night and Smart and Brown with 4 each. The turnovers combined with Miami getting 9 more FGA were key differences in the game. Miami shooting just 27% from three kept the game closer than it probably should have been. Man, Tyler Herro was amazing last night. The Miami bench outscored the Celtics 40-22 largely due to Herro’s 37. Hard to believe he will go off like that again. I think the Celtics can and will win the next game but I have a less rosy outlook that they can win the next three in a row. Last night’s turnover fest (largely driven by Miami’s strong defense) was disappointing and probably killed their chance to win the series.
Tatum and Brown, and to a lesser extent, Smart, are not (yet?) reliable dribblers in serious traffic/pressure. It's a thin margin. Tatum and Brown's 10 turnovers might have come on 8000 drives. But TOs are one of those things where the raw number matters as much as the %%. The rebound numbers were pretty close, so the TOs probably are the biggest driver of that FGA difference.
 

BigSoxFan

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Had totally forgotten the 12/13/14 were decided by a drawing since Charlotte/Miami/Sacto all ended up tied.

So that’s fun to think about, especially with how much of a fluke season that was for the Kings.
Man, I totally forgot that as well. I’m just glad we’ve moved on from why didn’t we draft Giannis to Herro Derangement Syndrome. I‘m going to need many more sessions to get over this.

Just have to hope that Langford gets healthy for once and turns into a solid contributor. He seemed to be making strides there before COVID.
 

Sam Ray Not

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A bit of recency bias on Herro, but man ... a core of Herro (20), Brown (23), Tatum (22) over the next decade would be absolutely terrifying. Imagine Tatum and Herro in 2-3 years when they've put on some grown-man muscle?
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Cs did lots of things pretty well last night. Shot better, assisted better, rebounded better (which seems impossible), etc.

But a -11 turnover differential is hard to overcome.

That Tatum travel late - woof.

But Marcus going 1-8 from 3 hurt a lot, too. Open looks, as were Tatum's in the first half.

Time Lord looked good on the PnR. +10 for the game vs Theis at -14. Maybe there's something there?
 

PedroKsBambino

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The one criticism I'd have of CBS is that the offensive struggles in the last 5 minutes are pretty consistent this series and the last. They are a bit stuck between Kemba as the primary and Tatum as the primary and they are hesitant each big trip offensively about what their attack plan is. The only guy who is always thinking "attack" is Smart, and while I love it and they do need that he is not their best option in those situations.

I don't know what the answer is. Probably, setting the default assumption that Tatum starts the offense in 'close and late' and then having a couple set plays for Kemba is the way to go, but they really seem stuck in between to me and that makes them tentative at the precisetime you cannot be. Interestingly, once they get behind late that tentativeness disappears and they look looser and more aggressive. Is that coaching? Mindset of the couple key guys? Likely some ofboth.

I feel like this is the (rare) time where a star-level former player is helpful. Don't you think that what, say, Paul Pierce would tell them is "believe in yourself and make a play, don't wait" or something like that? While I don't doubt CBS and the staff overall I do wonder if they have quite the right mindset in place for the specific situation which is very new for Kemba and still I think new to Tatum as well
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Man, I totally forgot that as well. I’m just glad we’ve moved on from why didn’t we draft Giannis to Herro Derangement Syndrome. I‘m going to need many more sessions to get over this.

Just have to hope that Langford gets healthy for once and turns into a solid contributor. He seemed to be making strides there before COVID.
Yeah I do like Romeo, probably more than most. Needs polish, obviously, and it really sucks that he’s getting surgery leading into what you would’ve hoped to be a critical offseason period.

In some ways it really shouldn’t hurt THAT much the way it would had they actually passed on Herro.
 

NomarsFool

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Last night felt like such a weird game. One can look at it and say "Take away Herro's god-like performance and Miami loses that game" - which is totally valid. On the other hand, Tatum was pretty much god-like in the second half as well, and if you take that away, Boston loses that game in a rout. On the other other hand, if I had to bet on who plays god-like in game 5 - Herro or Tatum, I'd put my money on Tatum.

Push comes to shove, I'm just really, really not ready for this season to end. I want to see this team keep playing and I'd really love to see them make the Finals (win or lose). I'm thrilled to see Tatum and Brown's continued development and I want to see them keep having more experience of intense playoff basketball.
 

tbb345

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Man, I totally forgot that as well. I’m just glad we’ve moved on from why didn’t we draft Giannis to Herro Derangement Syndrome. I‘m going to need many more sessions to get over this.

Just have to hope that Langford gets healthy for once and turns into a solid contributor. He seemed to be making strides there before COVID.
Sadly, this one hurts much more than not drafting Giannis.

As SteveF noted above, there’s been pretty consistent reporting that Herro was the guy that Ainge really wanted (Bill Simmons has alluded to this a few times on his podcast FWIW). And the reason they missed out on him was all due to a fucking coin flip....it’s going to hurt for a long time. Hopefully Romeo develops into at least a rotation piece to lessen the sting
 

tbb345

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The one criticism I'd have of CBS is that the offensive struggles in the last 5 minutes are pretty consistent this series and the last. They are a bit stuck between Kemba as the primary and Tatum as the primary and they are hesitant each big trip offensively about what their attack plan is. The only guy who is always thinking "attack" is Smart, and while I love it and they do need that he is not their best option in those situations.

I don't know what the answer is. Probably, setting the default assumption that Tatum starts the offense in 'close and late' and then having a couple set plays for Kemba is the way to go, but they really seem stuck in between to me and that makes them tentative at the precisetime you cannot be. Interestingly, once they get behind late that tentativeness disappears and they look looser and more aggressive. Is that coaching? Mindset of the couple key guys? Likely some ofboth.

I feel like this is the (rare) time where a star-level former player is helpful. Don't you think that what, say, Paul Pierce would tell them is "believe in yourself and make a play, don't wait" or something like that? While I don't doubt CBS and the staff overall I do wonder if they have quite the right mindset in place for the specific situation which is very new for Kemba and still I think new to Tatum as well
I’m in complete agreement with your first paragraph.

Tatum’s ISOs at end of games are weirdly ineffective. He kind of dribbles aimlessly for a few seconds, never really looking to get anywhere, then inevitably ends the possession with a side step jumper that’s contested.

Smart and Brown seem to be the only ones thinking “attack”, which is a problem in and of itself. Smart because of his propensity for hero ball and taking absolutely awful situational shots. Brown because, despite his much improved handle, he tends to get tunnel vision and drives straight into people without a back-up plan. Multiple times this series he’s been stripped or committed a turnover doing this.

I think the best option is for Walker to have the ball or, odd as it is to say, Hayward. They both seem to have the best mix of attacking while also looking to get the ball to an open teammate if needed
 

Saints Rest

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Cs did lots of things pretty well last night. Shot better, assisted better, rebounded better (which seems impossible), etc.

But a -11 turnover differential is hard to overcome.

That Tatum travel late - woof.

But Marcus going 1-8 from 3 hurt a lot, too. Open looks, as were Tatum's in the first half.

Time Lord looked good on the PnR. +10 for the game vs Theis at -14. Maybe there's something there?
My biggest "woof" turnovers were the terrible passes: Theis and Tatum.
I also wonder if the Heat had made the Tatum push-off a major point of emphasis, as he does it so often. Unlike savvier players, he's not terribly subtle about it.
 

BigSoxFan

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Sadly, this one hurts much more than not drafting Giannis.

As SteveF noted above, there’s been pretty consistent reporting that Herro was the guy that Ainge really wanted (Bill Simmons has alluded to this a few times on his podcast FWIW). And the reason they missed out on him was all due to a fucking coin flip....it’s going to hurt for a long time. Hopefully Romeo develops into at least a rotation piece to lessen the sting
Ainge did have 2 other picks in the first round. He likely had the ammo to move up unless nobody in that 9-13 range wanted an extra pick to move down a few spots. I like Romeo and Grant but I would trade both of them for Herro in a heartbeat. He is just so smooth. I also think tons of teams who picked before Miami will be lamenting the same thing. He is going to be a difference maker for a long time.

In the end, we just have to find the next Herro (or the closest thing to him in 2020 draft).
 

ifmanis5

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I don't think Herro scores 30+ again but I also believe that Hayward's injury cost this team at least a game in the Toronto series and at least a game or two in this series. If he was 100% and able to play 36 minutes that's worth a lot.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I’m in complete agreement with your first paragraph.

Tatum’s ISOs at end of games are weirdly ineffective. He kind of dribbles aimlessly for a few seconds, never really looking to get anywhere, then inevitably ends the possession with a side step jumper that’s contested.

Smart and Brown seem to be the only ones thinking “attack”, which is a problem in and of itself. Smart because of his propensity for hero ball and taking absolutely awful situational shots. Brown because, despite his much improved handle, he tends to get tunnel vision and drives straight into people without a back-up plan. Multiple times this series he’s been stripped or committed a turnover doing this.

I think the best option is for Walker to have the ball or, odd as it is to say, Hayward. They both seem to have the best mix of attacking while also looking to get the ball to an open teammate if needed
I think Hayward should be the primary ball handler close-and-late. If Kemba gets a good matchup/space on a rotation he should do his thing, but Hayward should start out and assess the defense. I think he's the best decision-maker. Kemba and Tatum both seem to lock in on iso in that situation and while they are each 'good' they are not yet 'great' in iso (or, not anymore in Walker's case) and defenses shade to them knowing the tendencies. Maybe that's unfair---Kemba made a great pass in the Anunoby game.

I keep thinking Brown should be better as a shot creator, mostly because when he chooses to do it he's pretty good at getting his shot. But some of that is he's pretty efficient about taking it when he has a good matchup and being a spot-up shooter when he doesn't. And, really, he's clearly not their best option to create his own shot anyway.

I am not super optimistic they pull this off, but I am interested to see what they do in game 5---do they have the fire of game 3, and do we see evidence they are growing into what they can be?
 

BaseballJones

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Win game 5. I mean in all three losses the Celtics have been RIGHT THERE. That's the good news. The bad news is that they've not been able to pull them out. But still...just a bounce or two and Boston can win game 5. Then game 6 gets super interesting, as Miami wouldn't want it to go 7, so suddenly there would be pressure. They're good but still...get this to game 6 and there's a legit chance.

Boston doesn't need to think about winning three in a row. They just have to win game 5. That's it. Go from there.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Marcus Smart hit 8(?) straight FT's down the stretch in game 3.
Yeah but he didn't do that in the three games they lost. The sample data is pretty damning. He, Tatum and Brown are not clutch and there is no getting around it. Brian Robb is just trying to get clicks but this is terrible even for him.

We should just cut to the takes that state that "Miami just wants this more than Boston".
 

RedOctober3829

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Yeah but he didn't do that in the three games they lost. The sample data is pretty damning. He, Tatum and Brown are not clutch and there is no getting around it. Brian Robb is just trying to get clicks but this is terrible even for him.

We should just cut to the takes that state that "Miami just wants this more than Boston".
Samples are always small in a playoff series. He's just providing data to confirm what we're all seeing. They just aren't getting it done close and late in this series. He did include the season-long data which said that they were an average to above average team close and late. They were 8th all season in offensive rating close and late and 13th in defensive rating. However, Miami is an elite team when it comes to finishing games out.

Comparing this series to the regular season stats in "clutch" situations
ORtg: 112.7(87.9)
DRtg: 108.3(144.4!!!)
Net: +4.4(-56.6!!!)
 

ehaz

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Is it crazy to think that Ainge needs to move on from Kemba while that contract is still tradeable? I’m very worried that Kemba is going to become an albatross. He’s been playing better offensively than his putrid 3 game stretch vs Toronto and early Miami games, but the offense is still nowhere near enough to make up for how easily teams pick on him defensively.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I think Hayward should be the primary ball handler close-and-late. If Kemba gets a good matchup/space on a rotation he should do his thing, but Hayward should start out and assess the defense. I think he's the best decision-maker. Kemba and Tatum both seem to lock in on iso in that situation and while they are each 'good' they are not yet 'great' in iso (or, not anymore in Walker's case) and defenses shade to them knowing the tendencies. Maybe that's unfair---Kemba made a great pass in the Anunoby game.

I keep thinking Brown should be better as a shot creator, mostly because when he chooses to do it he's pretty good at getting his shot. But some of that is he's pretty efficient about taking it when he has a good matchup and being a spot-up shooter when he doesn't. And, really, he's clearly not their best option to create his own shot anyway.

I am not super optimistic they pull this off, but I am interested to see what they do in game 5---do they have the fire of game 3, and do we see evidence they are growing into what they can be?
The area where they actually really do miss Al Horford has reared its head. His decision-making as the ball-handling/passing big from the semi-circle area and in pick and pop situations was top notch in this offense. Almost always made the right pass or shot decision and had the size to see over the D and finish the play without getting stripped half the time.

Hayward theoretically limits the blow but injury has clearly affected the degree to which he is able to fill those shoes.
 

tbb345

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I think Hayward should be the primary ball handler close-and-late. If Kemba gets a good matchup/space on a rotation he should do his thing, but Hayward should start out and assess the defense. I think he's the best decision-maker. Kemba and Tatum both seem to lock in on iso in that situation and while they are each 'good' they are not yet 'great' in iso (or, not anymore in Walker's case) and defenses shade to them knowing the tendencies. Maybe that's unfair---Kemba made a great pass in the Anunoby game.

I keep thinking Brown should be better as a shot creator, mostly because when he chooses to do it he's pretty good at getting his shot. But some of that is he's pretty efficient about taking it when he has a good matchup and being a spot-up shooter when he doesn't. And, really, he's clearly not their best option to create his own shot anyway.

I am not super optimistic they pull this off, but I am interested to see what they do in game 5---do they have the fire of game 3, and do we see evidence they are growing into what they can be?
Kemba sometimes does lock in but it doesn’t seem nearly as egregious as Tatum. Maybe it’s because Kemba actually does attack a decent portion of the time which can cause defensive rotations and easy open looks whereas Tatum always seems to launch a long jumper.


Like you, I’m pretty pessimistic that they can win the whole series. However, I don’t think there’s anyway they lose Game 5. Not only do I expect them to come out more focused and energized but I think the refs will come into play too. The Heat play a brand of defense where ticky tack fouls can be called easily and I expect Boston to get every 50/50
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Samples are always small in a playoff series. He's just providing data to confirm what we're all seeing. They just aren't getting it done close and late in this series. He did include the season-long data which said that they were an average to above average team close and late. They were 8th all season in offensive rating close and late and 13th in defensive rating. However, Miami is an elite team when it comes to finishing games out.

Comparing this series to the regular season stats in "clutch" situations
ORtg: 112.7(87.9)
DRtg: 108.3(144.4!!!)
Net: +4.4(-56.6!!!)
Four games of a specific five minute segment of the game, subject to the score being within five points seems like you can get some really random results. I mean the aggregate shooting he is citing is 3-17. I am pretty sure that you can find lots of star players that have streaks similar to that in a playoff series.

But maybe you and he are right and they aren't tough enough for the bright lights.
 

RedOctober3829

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Four games of a specific five minute segment of the game, subject to the score being within five points seems like you can get some really random results. I mean the aggregate shooting he is citing is 3-17. I am pretty sure that you can find lots of star players that have streaks similar to that in a playoff series.

But maybe you and he are right and they aren't tough enough for the bright lights.
Nobody is saying they aren't "tough enough for the bright lights". It doesn't matter if the results are random or small or whatever you want them to be. In the most important part of the game when it's been in the balance, Miami has been better by a wide margin. It's just a fact which is supported by the numbers.
 

BigSoxFan

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May 31, 2007
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Is it crazy to think that Ainge needs to move on from Kemba while that contract is still tradeable? I’m very worried that Kemba is going to become an albatross. He’s been playing better offensively than his putrid 3 game stretch vs Toronto and early Miami games, but the offense is still nowhere near enough to make up for how easily teams pick on him defensively.
Other GMs don’t have wool over their eyes. They’re seeing the same things we are. Only chance you get rid of Kemba is if you take an equally shitty contract back or attach a significant draft asset, which we no longer have.

What I think we need to do is easing his workload to keep him fresh. Next year, we should have Hayward back so there is plenty of opportunity to spread the minutes out. Also possible Danny drafts a Kira Lewis or Cole Anthony as a long term replacement option that we would hopefully be able to integrate during the next year or so.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Dec 24, 2002
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Nobody is saying they aren't "tough enough for the bright lights". It doesn't matter if the results are random or small or whatever you want them to be. In the most important part of the game when it's been in the balance, Miami has been better by a wide margin. It's just a fact which is supported by the numbers.
It is? The aggregate score of the series - as has been documented on Twitter and reflected here - is tied at 441. The Heat's largest margin of victory is five points so they have never won by more than two possessions. There is nothing being done by anyone by a wide margin (unless you want to count the one Boston victory by 11 points).

Miami is beating Boston but its not by a lot. This clutch thing is a random number to show...I don't know what it shows. If Boston makes their open looks, they may be up 3-1 but they did not. Why are the shots Robb designates as clutch more meaningful than a wide open miss in the first, second, third quarters or even the first seven minutes of the fourth? Are buckets at the end of games worth more in total points than those in other parts of the games?