A crucial face-off is imminent between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, and the stakes couldn't be higher as both teams gear up for a battle that could make or break their season.
The Celtics have a tough task ahead with three losses and just one win. But, they will be confident of narrowing the deficit to just one game considering they are at home. They struggled in the first three games of the series but came alive in Game 4.
The Celtics' superiority in perimeter shooting allowed them to dominate and claim victory on Miami's home court. They connected on 40% of their 3-point attempts, hitting 18 out of 45 shots. Sharp shooting and winning the turnover battle gave Boston the boost they desperately needed.
Celtics vs Heat injury report
Gabe Vincent, who has been instrumental for Miami throughout the playoffs, suffered an ankle sprain in the fourth quarter. He had a commendable outing, contributing 17 points, but his injury raises concerns for the Heat.
He might or might not play in Game 5. His availability is uncertain because he is listed as questionable and awaiting further evaluation.
Vincent's potential absence further compounds Miami's injury woes. They are already without Tyler Herro due to a hand injury, while Victor Oladipo is continuing rehabilitation for a patellar tendon issue. So, the burden falls heavily on the shoulders of the remaining players.
The only injury concern for the Celtics is Danilo Gallinari, who is recovering from an ACL injury.
Projected starting lineups for Celtics vs Heat, Game 5
Projected starting lineup for the Miami Heat
The Heat lineup will include Gabe Vincent if he is cleared to play, alongside Max Strus, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Love, and Bam Adebayo. These players will need to bring their A-game to withstand the Celtics' resurgence and close out the series.
Projected starting lineup for the Boston Celtics
Boston is expected to field a potent starting lineup in Game 5. Marcus Smart will run the point, while Derrick White will handle the shooting guard duties. Jaylen Brown will hold down the small forward position, with Al Horford and Jayson Tatum rounding out the frontcourt.
As Game 5 approaches, both teams are aware of the stakes involved. The Celtics will fight tooth and nail to extend the series, while the Heat will aim to punch their ticket to the finals.