The Miami Heat, leaders of the Eastern Conference at the end of the regular season, offered themselves a start worthy of their status as favorites in their first round of play-offs. Faced with the Atlanta Hawks, out of the play-in after having eliminated the Charlotte Hornets then the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Floridians have mastered their subject.
In the wake of Jimmy Butler (21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals) and PJ Tucker (16 points, 5 rebounds), and well helped by the vista of the rear Duncan Robinson (27 points at 9 of 10 in shooting including 8 out of 9 from three points), Erik Spoelstra’s men have never been worried by a particularly clumsy opponent. Weighed down by a delicate start (3 out of 17 shooting after 12 minutes), the visitors sank before the break (59-40, 24th) and let the gap climb to 32 points before reducing the score somewhat (115- 91).
Painful evening for Trae Young
Symbol of the immense difficulties of his people, the leader Trae Young lived a painful evening in the FTX Arena in Miami: 8 points to 1 of 12 in shooting (6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals). Above all, he was constantly harassed by the Miami defense, which often played with the limits, like some suspicious actions inflicted on their rival.
Unlike its opponent (38.7% success in the end), Miami found a good address (52.4%), three-point (18 out of 38, 47.4%), magnified by an oiled collective game (35 assists against 16) and a clear domination in the racket (38 points against 26). The two teams will meet again on Tuesday evening, still in Florida, for Game 2 of the series.