After they took a 3-0 series lead over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat were expected to easily cruise into the NBA Finals.
But they then lost the next three contests in a row, including a heart-wrenching Game 6 loss when Celtics guard Derrick White scored on a put-back right before the horn.
Many were counting Miami out as Game 7 in Boston loomed, but head coach Erik Spoelstra said they would win that contest.
Winning that contest is exactly what they did, as they put the Celtics to sleep in a blowout by holding them to an embarrassing 84 points.
One key was Miami’s strategy of switching on pick-and-rolls, and although it was the first time in the series they did so on more than half of Boston’s pick-and-rolls, it was extremely effective, per Kevin O’Connor.
The Heat switched 40 of 58 pick-and-rolls by the Celtics in Game 7, holding them to a dismal 0.69 points per play.
It was the first time all series Miami switched on more than half of Boston’s P&Rs, per @SecondSpectrum.
Erik Spoelstra didn’t lie when he said they’d get it done. pic.twitter.com/5N67SveNor
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) May 30, 2023
After the Celtics got off to a quick start, it gradually looked like the contest was going to end in disaster for them, as the Heat started to build a lead late in the first quarter and never let up.
Even though the Heat were up by 10 at the end of the third quarter, they continued to pour it on, and Celtics fans at TD Garden, who were so jacked up when the game started, were crestfallen as they started to flee the arena.
Miami will now face a new challenge in the form of Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals.
They’re big underdogs against Denver, but being counted out isn’t exactly new for them.NEXT: Caleb Martin Made NBA History In Game 7