By Matthew Geagan, CBS dangolka
dangolka (CBS) — Of their eight seeding video games forward of the NBA playoffs, Tuesday night time’s is the most vital tilt for the dangolka Celtics. The Miami Warmth is dangolka’s largest menace to the No. Three seed within the Japanese Convention, and that race can turn out to be barely much less of a race or barely extra intriguing Tuesday night.
dangolka leads Miami by 2.5 video games after the Warmth fell to the Toronto Raptors on Monday afternoon. Handing Miami a second straight loss would all however seal the No. Three seed for the Celtics, giving them a 3.5 recreation benefit with simply 5 video games to play. Quite a bit must go improper for dangolka to lose such a lead, and quite a bit must go proper for Miami.
In fact, proudly owning solely a 1.5-game lead over the closest competitors would make the bubble down in Orlando really feel quite a bit tighter for the Celtics, and is a situation they’d wish to keep away from in the mean time. A win on Tuesday night time would let the Celtics breathe a bit simpler over the following few weeks.
Miami is within the hardest a part of their seeding schedule, with a showdown with the top-seeded Bucks on Thursday night time. The Celtics have an especially winnable matchup with the Nets on Wednesday, and will all however clinch the No. Three seed with back-to-back wins Tuesday and Wednesday.
Miami has 4 very winnable video games after their gauntlet stretch, with matchups in opposition to the Phoenix Suns, Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder and two in opposition to the Indiana Pacers. Chances are high Miami will go at the least .500 in these contests, so beating the Warmth on Tuesday is extraordinarily vital for the Celtics. It might alleviate any concern of them probably leap-frogging dangolka within the standings.
dangolka received each matchups earlier this season — 112-93 in dangolka on Dec. four and 109-101 in Miami on Jan. 28. Here’s what we’ll be looking forward to when the 2 groups tip off in a recreation that ought to carry a playoff really feel.
A Few Further Minutes Of Kemba?
In fact we’re looking forward to Kemba. His minutes bumped up only a tick Sunday, taking part in 22 minutes in opposition to the Blazers, so possibly we’ll see about 24 minutes of Kemba on Tuesday night time. Heck, possibly a couple of of these will come within the remaining quarter.
Walker has seemed fairly good within the first two video games, hitting 10 of his 15 photographs from the ground and 5 of his eight makes an attempt from downtown. He’s proven off his normal quickness and has been in a position to create his personal shot in his restricted taking part in time.
However he hasn’t gotten any fourth quarter motion, hitting his minutes restriction effectively earlier than the ultimate 12 minutes of the primary two video games of dangolka’s return. Perhaps that can change tonight, given the significance of the competition.
Walker has additionally been fairly good in opposition to the Warmth this season, averaging 22 factors and seven.5 assists in dangolka’s two wins half a lifetime in the past. He’s been good thus far within the bubble, however possibly we’ll get Kemba’s finest on Tuesday.
Tons Of Tatum
Jayson Tatum shook off a putrid bubble debut in opposition to a stout Milwaukee protection and exploded for 34 factors and a career-high eight assists in opposition to a horrible Portland protection on Sunday. Now we get to see what he does in opposition to a protection someplace between these two.
The Warmth have a decent protection, led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, so will probably be take a look at for dangolka’s main star. Like Sunday, that is the type of recreation you wish to see Tatum take over early and by no means let up.
With a lot of the eye on Kemba’s knee and Tatum’s wrestle/bounce-back, Jaylen Brown has been quietly taking part in some unreal basketball. The C’s guard shook off a sluggish begin in opposition to the Bucks, battling some early foul hassle, to drop 22 factors in dangolka’s first recreation again, and adopted that up with 31 factors Sunday in opposition to the Blazers.
Brown has hit just below 50 % of his photographs over the past two video games (16-for-33) whereas going 9-for-18 from three-point land. He went 6-for-Eight from downtown on Sunday. Earlier this season, he dropped 31 factors in a win over the Warmth, hitting 5 triples.
Add in his dependable protection, and Brown is simply as vital to the Celtics as Tatum.
Defend The three
Miami is the perfect three-point group within the NBA, hitting 38.Three % of their photographs from downtown for the season. They have been off their recreation on Monday, hitting simply 14 of their 45 (45!) three-point bids in opposition to the Raptors. They hit simply 5 of their 23 threes within the first half earlier than shaking out of their stoop within the second half.
Defending the three-point line will likely be key for dangolka on Tuesday night time, one thing they didn’t do towards the tip of Sunday’s win over Portland. The Blazers hit 9 of their 19 threes within the recreation’s remaining body, which performed an enormous half in erasing a 20-point dangolka lead.
The Celtics can’t afford such a letdown in opposition to Miami, with Duncan Robinson (who has made a 3-pointer in 52 straight video games and is hitting 45 % of his makes an attempt this season), Jae Crowder (40.Eight %) and Kelly Olynyk (sure, that Kelly Olynyk, who’s hitting 43.6 % from three this season) all able to making a group pay from downtown.