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Offseason | NBA Week 26

Heat aim to keep Jayson Tatum, Celtics in check in Game 2

Tue Apr 23 2:29pm ET
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The visiting Miami Heat will attempt to pull even in their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Boston Celtics when the teams play Game 2 on Wednesday night.

Jayson Tatum collected 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the top-seeded Celtics to a 114-94 victory in Game 1 on Sunday. Tatum was one of six Boston players who scored in double figures.

"Just making the right play," Tatum said after Sunday's game. "We talk all the time about not getting bored with making the right play. ... We've played (the Heat) enough. They're not a team that's necessarily going to let you play one-on-one all night."

Miami's success Wednesday may be determined by how well it can defend the 3-point line. Boston made 22 of its 49 attempts from beyond the arc in Game 1. Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick White and Sam Hauser each made four 3-pointers. Hauser came off the bench and did his damage in 12 minutes of playing time.


"You're going to need things like that to be successful in the playoffs," Tatum said. "It's not always going to be the guys who start the game. On any given night we're going to count on somebody off the bench to change the pace of the game."

The Celtics outscored the Heat 31-14 in the third quarter and led 91-59 entering the fourth. Boston's lead swelled to 34 points before eighth-seeded Miami got as close as 14 in the final minutes.

"You have to give (the Celtics) credit," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "They won the big-muscle areas. Definitely won the 3-point line and the majority of the areas in between, including defensively. They were up and into us, getting us out of our normal flow, rhythm. So we have to do a much better job by Wednesday."

Bam Adebayo scored 24 points and Delon Wright added 17 for Miami, which was without Jimmy Butler for the second straight game because of a right knee injury he sustained during the play-in round. Terry Rozier also remained out with a neck injury.

Boston's Jrue Holiday was among those who did a good job defending Tyler Herro, who shot 4 of 13 from the field and was held to 11 points in 34 minutes. Herro and Butler each averaged a team-high 20.8 points per game during the regular season.

"They came out with the intention to put a lot of pressure on (Herro)," Spoelstra said. "Whether it's on the ball with pick and rolls or off the ball with movement, we have to find some ways to shake him free and get him to his strength spaces within the context of what we do."

Sunday's win improved Boston's record against Miami to 4-0 this season. The Celtics have won 38 of 42 home games during the season and playoffs.

"There's some things that we have to do better, but that's the balance, right?" Boston coach Joe Mazzulla said. "Understanding that we played relatively well, but we have to be better because we know they're going to play better."

Player Notes
Aaron Gordon Mon May 20 10:40am

Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon was limited to only four points on 2-for-5 shooting in Sunday's Game 7 defeat to Minnesota. Gordon was a big factor in the series but couldn't get anything going on Sunday, even settling for only four rebounds after racking up 18 boards across the previous two games. In 42 minutes on the court, Gordon also recorded two assists and one block. Gordon's offensive numbers dropped in 2023-24, but he remains a valuable piece of the Nuggets' core and should be a solid fantasy contributor in multiple categories again next season.

Jamal Murray Mon May 20 10:30am

Denver Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray had a game-high 35 points on Sunday against Minnesota as the team's title defense ended with a 98-90 Game 7 loss. Following his disappointing effort in Game 6, Murray appeared determined to carry his squad to the Western Conference Finals, posting 24 points in the first half. But the Timberwolves tightened up the defense in the second half and produced a historic comeback in the contest. Murray's final stat line of the season included three rebounds and three assists. 2023-24 was a good year for Murray, as the Canadian star set new career highs with 6.5 assists and 42.5 percent three-point shooting while averaging 21.2 points. However, he again missed a large chunk of the campaign with health issues, playing in only 59 regular-season contests. Murray's injury history is definitely something fantasy managers need to consider while planning for 2024-25.

Nikola Jokic Mon May 20 10:20am

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic stuffed the stat sheet but couldn't keep his team alive in Game 7 against the Timberwolves on Sunday. The 2023 champions blew a 15-point half-time lead to lose 98-90 despite Jokic posting 34 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists, and one block. After being voted the regular season MVP for the third time in his career, Jokic averaged 28.7 points, 13.4 rebounds, 8.7 assists, and 1.4 steals in the playoffs. With him having not even hit 30 years of age, the Jokic era in Denver has a long way to go, and he will continue to be an elite fantasy asset for quite some time.

Rudy Gobert Mon May 20 10:10am

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert played his part in Sunday's 98-90 Game 7 victory over Denver with 13 points, nine rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block. He finished with 3-for-7 shooting from the field and impressed at the free-throw line with a 7-for-9 effort. Gobert had a tough time against Nikola Jokic in the series but did a solid job overall by averaging a double-double. He will have a key role to play again in the Western Conference Finals against Dallas' big men Daniel Gafford, Dereck Lively II, and P.J. Washington.

Anthony Edwards Mon May 20 10:00am

Minnesota Timberwolves guard/forward Anthony Edwards had a miserably shooting night against the Nuggets in Sunday's Game 7, but he still played an effective game in a 98-90 win. Denver did a great job against Edwards by limiting him to 6-for-24 shooting. However, the Timberwolves superstar got close to triple-double numbers in the game with 16 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. Edwards also added a pair of steals to his tally while finishing plus-11 for the contest in 44 minutes. It's been a great postseason for Edwards, and he should have a few more spectacular performances up his sleeve for the Conference Finals. In 11 playoff games, Edwards has put up 28.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.7 steals.

Jaden McDaniels Mon May 20 10:00am

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels produced a second consecutive 20-point game on Sunday in a Game 7 win against the Nuggets, shooting 7-for-10 from the field en route to 23 points. He was the team's joint top scorer with Karl-Anthony Toews. McDaniels' night included a 3-for-4 effort from downtown, and he completed his line with six rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one block. The 23-year-old is more known for his defensive qualities, but McDaniels definitely gave Minnesota a boost in the attacking end in the last couple of games, which helped the team tilt the series in its favor. McDaniels now boasts three 20-point performances in 11 playoff games after having only had seven such outings during the regular season.

Karl-Anthony Towns Mon May 20 9:50am

Minnesota Timberwolves forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns registered his third double-double in four games against Denver on Sunday, leading the team to a 98-90 Game 7 victory. Towns was tied for most points on the team with 23 and grabbed 12 rebounds. He was limited to only 1-for-6 shooting from three-point range but finished 8-for-14 overall from the field and made a large impact all over the court. In 39 minutes, Towns was able to add two assists, two steals, and one block to his line. After years of misery in Minneapolis, Towns has finally made it to the Conference Finals, but he faces another tough matchup. Dallas has a lot of frontcourt depth, which will make it a challenging series for Towns.

Josh Hart Sun May 19 8:30pm

New York Knicks forward Josh Hart (abdomen) was available for Sunday's pivotal meeting with the Pacers after suffering an abdominal strain on Friday night. However, while Hart should be recognized for his willingness to play through the ailment, he struggled to a degree, ending the afternoon with 10 points and shooting 3-for-9 from the field and 0-for-4 from deep. Hart did add eight rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Yet, it was apparent he wasn't fully healthy. With the Knicks eliminated from the playoffs, Hart will get some rest and prepare for the 2024-25 campaign. He appeared in 81 games for New York during the regular season, and although he isn't the most consistent on the offensive end, he'll see plenty of interest from fantasy managers.

Donte DiVincenzo Sun May 19 8:20pm

New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo scored a game-high 39 points in Sunday's loss to Indiana. He added four rebounds, two steals, and one assist. With OG Anunoby (hamstring) and Josh Hart (abdomen) plagued by injury, DiVincenzo stepped up in a big way, going 11-for-21 from the field and 9-for-15 from deep. However, it wasn't enough, with the Knicks failing to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Nonetheless, the 27-year-old is coming off his best season, averaging a career-high 15.5 points with 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists. He also appeared in 81 games after logging 72 in Golden State last season. With that said, DiVincenzo's durability and increased production should spark the interest of fantasy managers heading into the 2024-25 campaign.

OG Anunoby Sun May 19 8:10pm

New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (hamstring) was available for Sunday's matchup against the Pacers. He had been out since suffering a hamstring strain in Game 2. Unfortunately, Anunoby clearly wasn't ready to return, with the former Raptor logging only five minutes before calling it an afternoon. Nonetheless, the Knicks are eliminated from the postseason. However, Anunoby made a difference for the Knicks after being acquired from Toronto ahead of the trade deadline, averaging 14.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.7 steals in 23 games with New York. Yet, the 26-year-old dealt with several injuries near the end of the 2023-24 campaign and into the playoffs, which isn't uncommon. With that said, Anunoby has plenty of talent, but fantasy managers won't trust him fully on their rosters until he proves he can stay healthy.

Pascal Siakam Sun May 19 7:20pm

Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam played well in Sunday's win over the New York Knicks. The former Raptor did what he could to help his squad advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, amassing 20 points, four boards, one steal, and one block. Without question, the acquisition of Siakam was a pivotal move for Indiana during the season. However, the Pacers need him to stay consistent to get by the Celtics and move on to the NBA Finals. Fortunately for Siakam, Kristaps Porzingis (calf) is expected to miss at least a few more games, which could help him remain a potent DFS contributor throughout the Eastern Conference Finals.

Myles Turner Sun May 19 7:10pm

Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner had 17 points in Sunday's win over the Knicks to help his team advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. While Tyrese Haliburton led the way by scoring 26 points, Turner stepped up in a big way on the defensive end by supplying four blocks. At any rate, the 28-year-old played well during this series. However, DFS managers aren't as encouraged with Indiana's upcoming series versus the Celtics, with Turner averaging 14 points and seven rebounds in five meetings with Boston during the regular season. But with Kristaps Porzingis (calf) expected to miss at least a few more games, Turner's production could improve. .

Tyrese Haliburton Sun May 19 6:50pm

Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton had a potent postseason showing in Sunday's win over the Knicks. He logged 33 minutes, scoring 26 points while shooting 10-for-17 from the field and 6-for-12 from deep. The former King also added six dimes. Haliburton had trouble being consistently reliable for DFS managers during the series with New York. However, he did enough in Game 7 to lead his team to the Eastern Conference Finals. Indiana will need Haliburton to remain aggressive on the offensive end to stand a chance versus the mighty Celtics. Unfortunately, he struggled versus Boston, averaging just 15.8 points in four games during the regular season, which is something fantasy participants should keep in mind come Tuesday night when the series commences.

Jalen Brunson Sun May 19 6:30pm

New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (hand) finished with 17 points and nine assists in Sunday's loss to the Pacers. It wasn't Brunson's afternoon, with the former Villanova Wildcat going 6-for-17 from the field. Even worse, he suffered a fractured left hand in the fourth quarter and didn't return. The Knicks are now officially eliminated from the postseason. But Brunson had a fantastic season, playoffs included, and did all he could to try to get his team to the Eastern Conference Finals. Barring a setback, he should be ready to go to begin the 2024-25 campaign. The 27-year-old should also be a top-10 fantasy option in every format.

OG Anunoby Sun May 19 3:10pm

New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (hamstring) is officially active for Sunday's pivotal playoff matchup against the Indiana Pacers. There were reports on Saturday morning that he would miss Game 7. However, the former Raptor was bumped to questionable in the afternoon, giving DFS managers some hope. Anunoby had played well in this series before tweaking his hamstring in Game 2. While he's a risky DFS option, there's no denying his upside.

Josh Hart Sun May 19 3:10pm

New York Knicks forward Josh Hart (hamstring) will play on Sunday against the Pacers. Hart has averaged a double-double throughout the series. He tweaked an abdominal muscle during Friday's loss, although it will take more than that to keep him off the floor for the pivotal clash with Indy. Of course, the veteran isn't fully healthy. However, DFS managers shouldn't ignore him.

Josh Hart Sun May 19 3:00pm

New York Knicks forward Josh Hart (abdomen) stated he will play in Sunday's pivotal postseason matchup with the Indiana Pacers. Hart has been instrumental in the Knicks' success throughout this series, averaging well over a double-double. Unfortunately, he suffered an abdominal strain during Friday's loss and left the contest. Of course, the veteran could be limited physically, so DFS managers will take a significant gamble by putting him in their lineups.

Josh Hart Sat May 18 6:50pm

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, New York Knicks forward Josh Hart "will attempt to play through" the abdominal strain he suffered during Friday's loss to Indiana. The 29-year-old has played a pivotal role in the Eastern Conference semifinals, averaging 13.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 1.2 steals. Unfortunately, he was injured in Game 6 and didn't return, resulting in a questionable designation for Game 7 on Sunday. However, even if Hart is officially cleared to suit up, he won't be fully healthy, so his DFS potential is limited.

Luka Doncic Sat May 18 6:40pm

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (ankle, knee) is good to go for Saturday's matchup against the Mavericks. He's been battling knee and ankle soreness throughout the series. However, Doncic was listed on the injury report as probable, so most had assumed he'd be available. While the multi-time All-Star has struggled in the five meetings with OKC, he might turn it around, with the Mavs looking to advance to the Western Conference Finals with a win on Saturday night.

Jamal Murray Sat May 18 6:30pm

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (calf) is questionable for Sunday's Conference semifinal finale versus Minnesota. This isn't Murray's first appearance on the injury report because of a nagging calf strain. But assuming he didn't suffer a setback since Thursday's loss, he'll be available. At any rate, the 27-year-old has struggled during this series, averaging 15.7 points per contest, meaning he's a risky DFS option for Game 7.