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#pounditTuesday, July 23, 2024

Erik Spoelstra notes 1 big difference in Celtics this year

Erik Spoelstra looking on

Nov 30, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra reacts during a break as they take on the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat have met in the playoffs for three consecutive years, so Heat coach Erik Spoelstra knows them very well. After the Celtics knocked the Heat out of the playoffs in Wednesday’s Game 5, however, Spoelstra suggested there is a big difference in this year’s Boston team.

Spoelstra had praise for the Celtics’ maturity, noting that Boston was determined to finish off Miami in five games without having to go back on the road.

“You have to credit Boston,” Spoelstra said, via Souichi Terada of Mass Live. “They took control of this game. You could sense that they wanted to end this right now, tonight, and not let this thing get back to Miami. That’s a sign of a mature team.

“They’ve played very good basketball, and they probably had something to motivate them even more against us. They played at a high level. I will not watch one minute of their games, but they’ll probably do this to several teams from here on out.”

The Celtics fell behind 3-0 in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, only to force a Game 7 that they lost at home. Two years ago, the Celtics won the East Finals in seven games, but lost Game 6 at home with a chance to close Miami out.

The Heat certainly dealt with a lot more injuries this year than they have in the past. However, the Celtics had injuries too. They simply outplayed Miami, and that killer instinct they showed will serve them well if they can maintain it moving forward.

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