Q: We’re playing the Celtics, right? -Stan.
A: Based on how the Celtics went to Milwaukee and went about their business on Friday night, that would apparently appear to be the case. But it’s not like there haven’t been successes down the road in this series, either. It might just come down to the best match between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum. Still, NBA history significantly favors the home team in Game 7. So I’d say the Heat staff are probably spending a little more time right now on their Boston video than their scouting report. Bucks. Either way, those two teams looked much better in their series than the 76ers did against the Heat.
Q: The Heat don’t have the best superstars, but they probably have the deepest bench among the remaining teams. It is their strength. We have a lot of great defenders. Why can’t we use our players to put more pressure on our opponents in the backcourt? We can continue to rotate players off the bench to keep them cool. – Jay, Weston.
A: First, the Heat often went to such ball pressure, especially after timeouts. And they had picked up James Harden at 94 feet. So there is this. But for all the considerable depth in the Heat, you still want your best players on the court as much as possible. So you also have to be careful not to wear down Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo with such extra effort. Beyond that, pressure defense can also lead to fouls. That might be acceptable with, say, Gabe Vincent or Victor Oladipo. But I’m not sure you’d want Butler or Adebayo burning fouls in the backcourt.
Q: I love that it’s championship or bust here. It’s the biggest feeling as a Heat fan and as a competitor. – Swann.
A: That’s why the precautions with Kyle Lowry in round one and round two. The goal wasn’t just to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. The goal was, and remains, the 16 wins required for a title. And the playmaker challenges will only get harder, which is why you need, or at least want, Kyle Lowry as close to 100% as possible.