What a start to the Eastern Conference Finals! The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics locked horns in a spectacular game, which went right till overtime. Both teams displayed tremendous grit, but it was Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo who closed out Game 1 with two defining plays on either end of the court.
What seemed like a bad ECF debut for Jimmy Butler gradually turned into a tremendous one. The five-time All-Star did not rack up the points in Game 1, but he sure gave Miami the most important bucket on the night!
With the clock ticking under 20 seconds in overtime, the Heat were down by one and needed a bucket to stay alive in the game. That’s when ‘Jimmy Buckets’ arrived! He took control of the game in the clutch situation and owned it.
Jimmy Butler is too damn strong pic.twitter.com/gIPfnJdy2z
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 16, 2020
Jimmy drove into the paint where Tatum did all he could to guard him. But the 31-year-old was too strong for Tatum and muscled his way to make a vital bucket. This propelled Miami to a one-point lead in the ballgame, with just 12.0 seconds left on the clock.
Jimmy Butler somehow made this shot. pic.twitter.com/tSoi17cJVb
— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) September 16, 2020
Bam Adebayo makes a statement with a game-winning block for the Miami Heat
Bam Adebayo has been brilliant throughout the year, and his game is just elevating with time. The 23-year-old has been a shining star in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, and he’s proved his worth on several occasions. Probably the most significant one of them all came late in Game 1 against the Celtics.
After Butler made the incredible layup, it was Boston’s ball to try to take the lead. With their talented offense on point, it looked like they would get the points. Tatum got the ball and drove to the paint to make the basket, when Bam lept up and denied him with all his might.
BAM. BLOCK. GAME. 😱 pic.twitter.com/NTipg96MO8
— NBA Fantasy (@NBAFantasy) September 16, 2020
The moment looked wild, just the way the game had been going all along. Bam surely recorded one of the best blocks in playoff history with his effort. It is no simple task to deny a player who’s as quick as Jayson Tatum.
Bam's game-winning block in slo-mo is art 🎨
— ESPN (@espn) September 16, 2020
But Adebayo yet again proved why he is one among the best defenders in the league right now. His block undoubtedly sealed the game for Miami, giving them the much-needed momentum in the eastern conference finals.
Twitter erupts after Butler and Adebayo leave it late against the Celtics
Miami legend Dwyane Wade could not control his excitement on social media following the victory. Before the game, D-Wade ignited the rivalry with a cheeky Instagram post, and he followed it up with his appreciations for Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. “Man this ain’t healthy for my heart right now,” D-Wade wrote, after witnessing the dramatic ending to Game 1.
Do you realize the strength you need to have to do this to anyone – let alone Tatum???
— Jorge Sedano (@Sedano) September 16, 2020
Lakers icon Magic Johnson also lauded Butler and Adebayo for their heroics. “Jimmy “Buckets” Butler’s 3-point play in Game 1 sealed the game for the Miami Heat in an overtime thriller!!!” Magic wrote. He even showered Adebayo with tremendous praise, which the 6’9” big man can take as a huge compliment!
Bam Adebayo’s block on Jayson Tatum’s dunk attempt was the best defensive play I’ve seen ever in the playoffs!!!!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 16, 2020
Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell couldn’t believe what he just saw from Adebayo. The 24-year-old posted a tweet to express his shock over the tremendous block made by the Heat star. His teammate Rudy Gobert also posted his reactions and iterated the importance of having a big man on the court.
Big time block for the win. Yeah size is still very important in basketball.
— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) September 16, 2020
Moreover, Skip Bayless, who is widely known for his unforgiving comments, compared Adebayo’s block with that of LeBron’s from the 2016 Finals.
Bam's clutch game-saving block shamed the most overrated "clutch" block ever – LeBron's late in Game 7 at Oakland, a chase-down after JR Smith cut off Iggy, forcing him to lay it up instead of dunk it. A bicycle built for two.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) September 16, 2020
Warriors rookie Eric Paschall, too, got into the reaction game and lauded Bam’s physical strength. That block was CRAZY!!! That’s tough!!!!! he mentioned.
Moreover, Cavs star Kevin Love was fired up after the Heat’s clutch plays and was hyped by Bulter’s brilliance. “JIMMY MF BUCKETS,” Love wrote, wonder-struck by Butler’s tough layup. Moreover, he posted another update on Adebayo’s game-winning block on Tatum.
JIMMY MF BUCKETS!!!
— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) September 16, 2020
Even Magnus Carlsen, one of the best chess players in history, was in awe of Adebayo’s block. He took to Twitter to relate how good defense is vital in both chess and basketball!
That was special Bam Adebayo💪
Defence wins championships.
— Magnus Carlsen (@MagnusCarlsen) September 16, 2020
It is the perfect start to the 2020 ECF! Neither of these two teams looks like going down without a fight, and that might just give us another Game 7 to witness in this year’s Playoffs!