Forty-eight minutes wasn’t enough to determine a winner in Game 1 between the Celtics and Heat. In the end, it took an overtime period for Miami to ultimately pull out a 117-114 win over Boston for an early lead in the Eastern Conference finals. Goran Dragic led the way for Miami with 29 points, but he had plenty of help. Jimmy Butler made some major clutch plays down the stretch — as he’s done all postseason — and Bam Adebayo’s game-saving block on a Jayson Tatum dunk attempt was one of the best defensive plays you’ll see. 

Tatum led the way for the Celtics with 30 points, but moving forward Boston will need to figure out a way to get Kemba Walker going on the offensive end. Walker finished with 19 points in the first game, but he shot just 6 of 19 from the field and an abysmal 1 of 9 from 3-point range. That’s not going to cut it if the Celtics want to return to the NBA Finals for the first time in a decade. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Game 2 between the Celtics and Heat. 

Viewing information

  • Date: Thursday, Sept. 18 | 7 p.m. ET
  • Location: Disney Wide World of Sports — Orlando, Florida
  • TV: ESPN I Stream: Fubo TV (try for free) 
  • Odds: Celtics -2.5 | Over/Under: 208.5

Storylines

Celtics: The Heat dominated the Celtics in the paint in Game 1 as they outscored them 48-26 from inside that area. This will be a major area of improvement for Boston in Game 2 as it will have to figure out a way to limit Miami’s paint production while simultaneously boosting its own. Also, the Celtics have to figure out a way to get Kemba Walker going. Walker is one of the most dangerous players in the league with the ball in his hands, but he has struggled since the second round against the Raptors. Finding ways to get Walker some good, open opportunities — both from long range and at the rim — should be a main focus for Brad Stevens heading into Game 2. 

Heat: Miami continues to play some of the best basketball in the bubble, and as a result it has lost just one playoff game so far. The Heat appear to be clicking on both ends of the floor; they’re moving the ball and finding good looks on the offensive end, and flying around and making things extremely tough for Boston defensively. Jae Crowder continues to prove to have been an excellent addition for the Heat. He finished Game 1 with 22 points (on five made 3s), five rebounds and some solid defensive play. The Heat may make some small adjustments heading into Game 2. For instance, they could do a better job of defending Tatum around the perimeter. However, they aren’t likely to make any big changes following their Game 1 victory. 

Prediction, Picks

Game 1 was extremely close as evidenced by the fact that it went into overtime, and in the end it could have gone either way. So, it’s not like it’s time to panic for the Celtics, or time for them to make any major adjustments. Knowing how close they were in the first game, and that they don’t want to fall into a 2-0 hole, expect the Celtics to come out motivated in Game 2. Look for them to make a concerted effort to get Walker going from the field, as it unlocks a whole other level of Boston’s offense when he’s dialed in. Plus, the Celtics entered the opener coming directly off a tough seven-game series, while the Heat had a bit of time to rest and prepare after they bested the Bucks in five games. That advantage should be neutralized in Game 2. Look for the Celtics to have a bounce-back performance. 

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