Jeff Green hit a fading three-pointer from the corner as time expired in Miami to give the Celtics an improbable 111-110 win over the Heat on Saturday, which was Boston’s third straight.
Dwyane Wade had a chance to ice the game at the free throw line, but missed two foul shots on the previous possession which left the door open for Green’s incredible shot. The second of Wade’s attempts was intentionally missed, but because it didn’t hit the rim, it was a violation which allowed the Celtics to call timeout and set up a play for the game’s final shot.
Miami is just 4-3 on the season, with two of the losses coming to teams which were expected to be among the league’s bottom feeders in Philadelphia and now Boston. The reason for the struggles is a lack of intensity on the defensive end of the floor; in this one, the Celtics put up 35 points in the second quarter and 31 in the fourth. The Heat were seventh in the league in defensive efficiency a season ago, but are just 21st in that category so far this year.
We don’t expect teams like Boston, Philadelphia, and Phoenix to continue to win games at this rate as the season progresses, given the relative lack of talent in place on their respective rosters. But it sure is fun during these first couple of weeks seeing effort, energy and good coaching win out at times while facing teams who would seem to possess an overwhelming talent advantage.