Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens talked about the versatility of the Miami Heat going into the matchup on Tuesday. Two players he was impressed with the most were Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala.
Both players are great spot-up shooters. They help players like Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler have kick out options when things go awry. Teams like the LA Clippers are struggling this postseason because of the lack of three-point shooting on their roster. What is also great about them is their ability to play defense.
Brad Stevens talked about the two X-Factors going into Tuesday. According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel he said:
“Like, I think the opportunity for them to play small ball, with even more versatility, and to surround those great shooters with more skill, but also guys that could guard the best players on the other teams for multiple possessions for end of games, or those types of things, has added a great deal to their team,” Stevens said.
Having smart 3 and D players on your team helps with being versatile. The Miami Heat have been able to get away with not having multiple stars on their team because they have wing players that can shoot and play defense on the team’s best players.
Jimmy Butler and Dragic have more room to create. The Celtics guard the perimeter with the best of them in the league but they have their work cut out for them in this matchup. Wing players like Jayson Tatum are required on their team to carry a heavy load on the offensive end.
The Eastern Conference Finals will be won on the wing. The team that is able to control both sides of the ball in terms of the athletes will move on to the Finals. Both teams got here because they have depth at the wing position.