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Winderman’s view: Heat turn the long ball into a lifeline against Celtics

BOSTON — Observations and other notes of interest from Monday night’s 111-101 NBA playoff victory over the Boston Celtics:

– No, it’s not as simple as Erik Spoelstra assembling his players at Tuesday’s practice and Wednesday morning’s shootaround at TD Garden and telling them to make 3-pointers.

– (Typically coaches do not demand, “Do not miss!”)

– But in this series, to be competitive while shorthanded, the Heat need to junk it up.

– Typically, that has the Heat trying to play in the mud, the type of slow-paced defensive grind that makes you wonder what else is on.

– This time, they recognized they had to win over the top.

– With over-the-top 3-point shooting.

– Or at least an over-the-top total of 3-point attempts.

– So they turned TD Garden into a launch pad.

– And injected life into the series.

– It’s almost as if it makes you want them to invite Glen Rice, Jason Kapono, Daequan Cook, James Jones and Ray Allen to Saturday’s Game 3 to throw up ceremonial pregame 3-pointers.

– OK, maybe not Ray Allen.

– That’s too complicated.

– But without Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier, it is the longball by necessity.

– So when it comes to Wednesday night’s approach — wash, rinse and repeat.

– Hope is located at the 3-point arc.

– For better or worse.

– The Heat again opened with Bam Adebayo, Nikola Jovic, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Caleb Martin and Tyler Herro. Jovic had been on the injury report earlier in the day due to back spasms.

– Martin was booed on his first touch.

– The series clearly has its villain.

– And no 14-0 Celtics run to open this time.

– Instead the Heat took a 3-2 lead on a Jovic 3-pointer.

– Setting the tone for what would follow.

– Haywood Highsmith and Duncan Robinson entered together as the Heat’s first reserves.

– Delon Wright and Kevin Love later entered together, making it nine deep.

– Before the game, Spoelstra brushed off a media question about heightened intensity.

– “You guys always ask me about how I feel about the team,” he said. “It really comes down to your habits. And you just continue to work your habits. We have a bunch of competitors.”

– As the series transitions to Miami, Adebayo said it still is a series.

– “It’s first one to four,” he said. “You’ve got to have that mentality.”

– Spoelstra was asked pregame about how the playoffs could help in the development of Jovic and Jaquez.

– He said it was not the moment for that.

– “It’s a matter of contributing to winning right now,” he said. “They’ve put in the time, they’ve earned these opportunities. Now it’s about impacting winning against a very good team.”

– Both played well in this one.

– Of getting Herro going, Spoelstra said going in, “We need to get a little bit more intentional in our actions to try to shake him free. They’re a very good defense, so there is a balance.”

– They did just that.

– Spoelstra continues to stress that the Heat’s zone is not viewed internally as a panacea.

– “It’s not going to save us,” he said. “The offensive shooting ability they have and the guys that can bring two defenders in certain instances is always going to be there. So we have to scramble. We have to make those multiple efforts.”

– He added, “Schemes can’t save you.”

– Spoelstra also took time ahead of Game 2 to praise Celtics guard Derrick White.

– “He’s one of the most underrated players in the league, because he does it at both ends,” Spoelstra said. “He eats defensively, and offensively, very solid, efficient decision-maker. When the ball’s in his hands, he makes a lot of the right plays. But when he’s off the ball, he’ll make you pay if you’re not aware where he is.”

– As for Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis, Spoelstra had similar praise.

–  “He really does it at both ends, because of the size, also at the rim defensively,” he said. “Offensively, he helps them spread the floor, and even if you’re there, he’s big enough to get his threes off, can post mismatches. Look, that’s the deal. You have to find a way to conquer these challenges within the game.”

– Wright said there is a certain reality to the series, “They’re a good team. Our room for error is not as high as theirs.”

– Robinson, on playing through his back issue, “At this point, it’s just all about trying to find solutions and put your best foot forward to try to compete and ultimately win.”

– Spoelstra addressed the Celtics’ 3-pointers after Boston’s shooting exhibition in Game 1.

– “We have to do a better job,” he said. “I mean, we’ve never been only-protect-the-paint-rim at all costs. This is more dynamic than you typically see, because of the number of guys that can hurt you from beyond the 3-point line.”

– Of his candidacy for Defensive Player of the Year, as one of the three finalists, Adebayo said, “You can put your center on anybody on the court, star player, role players, big men, whatever the case may be, I feel like that’s a luxury to have.”

– Herro extended his streak of games with at least one 3-pointer to 36, dating to the regular season. Herro’s longest such streak is 53 combined regular-season and playoff games, a run that ended March 2, 2021.

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