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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Moreover, Skip Bayless, who is widely known for his unforgiving comments, compared Adebayo’s block with that of LeBron’s from the 2016 Finals.
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.
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!
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!
Get notified about breaking news and watch highlights on the go; join the Arena on NBA Hoops