NBA 2022 Qualifiers – For Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, the most important possibility is available

MIAMI – At the end of January, San Antonio Spurs backup protection transaction Bryn Forbes arrive Denver Nuggets. Five months later, that unassuming move has had a major impact on the 2022 Eastern Conference finalists.

It has opened up an opportunity for Boston Celtics that was fully done, because they pushed Miami Heat to the brink after a 93-80 games 5 wins on Wednesday and led the series 3-2.

It’s been eight years since Spurs were ready to make a mid-season move, and the Celtics have taken a small part of that, acting as the third team in the deal. More importantly, it’s the much-awaited signal that the Spurs are open for trading – and the Celtics want to get in.

A few weeks, a series of phone calls and many negotiations later, the Celtics draw their swords from the rock and protective landing White Derrick.

This is not to say that white is the main reason the Celtics have a win since their first NBA Finals in 12 years. But having White, a starting-level defender who is the chic backup to a title contender, is the cornerstone of why Boston is in the position.

The Orient has had its most competitive regular season in a generation. Four 50 winning teams separated by two matches on the rankings. A team of 44 wins ( Cleveland Cavaliers) did not make it to the knockout round; There have been several years in the last decade when you’ve been the number 5 seed in the East.

But injury has dampened what promises to be a potential all-time Eastern playoff. Joel EmbiidTorn ligament of the thumb, orbital fracture and concussion damage Philadelphia 76ers‘opportunity to go through to the semi-finals of the conference. Kris MiddletonYour knee injury is most likely the deciding factor in Milwaukee Bucks‘seven-game losing streak to Boston in the second round.

And now the Heat have been reduced to a fraction of the output of their 53-win lineup, with three of their best attacking players affected by injury.

Kyle Lowry, who had played three games before but as a cover of his own, lost 0/6 in Game 5 and he was 5 of 23 on the streak. His outburst was robbed by a hamstring injury.

Jimmy Butler playing on one foot, a sore knee prevented him from making a jump or getting past defenders. After fouling 26 times in games 1 and 2, Butler has had six in the past three competitions.

In Game 5, the Celtics essentially stopped defending Butler. They backed Butler and saw him as an unskilled screen-setter, not the team’s most dominant attacking player.

“Butler didn’t want to score,” said Celtics coach Ime Udoka. “We wanted to keep him big, play him like an adult.”

According to research by ESPN Stats & Information, in the past two games and during his time with knee inflammation, Butler was 7th out of 32 shooting games, marking a span of two bad games. the best of his career (with at least 25 attempts), according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.

Tyler Herro missed the last two games because of a groin injury. Even with the stakes after this season, the Heat wouldn’t consider pushing Herro off the field. Coach Erik Spoelstra called it “irresponsible”. Herro has averaged nearly 21 points a game this season, and that output has proven irreplaceable, as Miami has averaged 81 as a team because of losses in games 4 and 5.

Back to that February deal. This is where Boston’s preparation saved them. Catching White proved an important addition, as Smart Marcus missed three games after this season because of quadriceps, foot and ankle injuries. The Celtics are leading 3-0 in those encounters. And on Wednesday, when Smart was capped and shot 1/5, White had 14 points, five assists and two steals.

White shot 5/6 and scored 11 out of 37 points for the Celtics in the first half of Game 5, almost single-handedly keeping the team afloat. That was after his 13 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals in Smart’s place in Game 4.

“Derrick, the last two games, it’s been fantastic. His contribution to our team has been huge,” Jaylen Brown, who took on the lead role in the second half of Wednesday. “He’s essential.”

The Celtics are hitting themselves: Smart’s right leg is a medical case; Jayson Tatum is dealing with an illness in his right shoulder that has forced him to launch some hideous infrequently; Robert Williams III coming back from end-of-season surgery and battling a bruise on his left knee every day; and Brown is about to have a hamstring injury.

But in Game 5, the Celtics had a full roster for only the fourth time this season and the first in the series. Brown, who had 25 points, and Tatum, who had a bad night of shooting with 22 points, were the frontrunners, as usual. But the reason the Celtics won was because they had just added healthy players at the right time.

A big reason the Celtics have persisted is because of the way the squad has been built for this glove, the inclusion of White and his ability to properly execute the role are perhaps the best examples.

And, of course, luck plays a part. Boston’s newest opponents – defending champion Bucks and now top seed Heat – are not well equipped or quite fit.

Some people like to point out that in certain years title winners must have an asterisk because injuries or other circumstances played a part in their victory. It makes no sense; the act of surviving the marathon after the NBA season and its rivals is the definition of what makes a champion.

Injuries have robbed fans of better quality in this series up to this point. But the Celtics took the lead. They have exhausted the strength of their opponents. They had more when it mattered.

Boston’s path to this point has not been an idyllic story – at least not yet – but it has yielded the same horrendous effect.

“The stress and mental stress we put on some teams with our defense worked and got us through to the knockout stages,” said Udoka. “You saw in Brooklyn [Nets] series, the boys began to wear. Battle 7, [Giannis] Antetokounmpo slow down some. But having all those bodies to keep throwing at people to wear their clothes. “

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