Many NBA teams that reach the conference finals or that are serious contenders for a championship do so with star power.
This year’s Eastern Conference Finals offer two teams that have a contrast in roster makeup.
The Boston Celtics are somewhat top-heavy — they’re centered around their star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and they have one other legitimate offensive threat in reserve guard Malcolm Brogdon.
Their opponents, the Miami Heat, on the other hand, have one star in Jimmy Butler who is prone to scoring outbursts but is a team player.
The Heat tend to win with offensive balance, and that’s exactly what they did on Wednesday in Game 1 when they had six players score at least 15 points, which tied an NBA record.
Tied the NBA record with 6 players scoring 15+ in a playoff game. Balanced attack 👌 pic.twitter.com/RTAlSoOAxR
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 18, 2023
The formula for the Heat over the last few years has been for their supporting players to help keep them in the game along with their defense, hustle, and overall resourcefulness.
They know how to do the little things, such as get offensive rebounds, keep the ball alive on offense, hustle for loose balls and make the extra pass to get open shots.
But in crunch time or in key stretches prior to that, it is Jimmy Buckets time for Miami.
In Game 1, he scored 35 points along with seven assists, five rebounds, and a whopping six steals, and 20 of his points came in the second half.
In the meantime, Tatum, who played well statistically, was practically invisible in the fourth quarter and was called for two traveling violations in the last few minutes.