Currently up 3-1 in their series against the Atlanta Hawks, the Miami Heat are on the verge of advancing to the next round of the playoffs. After putting up solid outings for the majority of the series, Erik Spoelstra’s squad now has a chance to finish things in Game 5 at home.
They again won’t have Kyle Lowry, who remains out due to a hamstring injury, but the Heat have enough talent to fill in the void amid his absence. On the other hand, after suffering a massive Game 4 beating in Atlanta, the Hawks are expected to make adjustments and find ways to keep this series tighter than how it looks right now.
Surely enough, the Heat can’t be complacent and must execute on the floor in order to ensure that the Hawks won’t live to fight another day and extend this series. With that said, let’s take a look at three bold predictions for Heat’s Game 5 against the Hawks.
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Heat predictions for Game 5 vs. Hawks
3. Jimmy Butler will have another 30-piece
Jimmy Butler has been dominant in this opening-round series against the Hawks. Given how one-sided the matchup has been, he doesn’t necessarily have to put up a ton of points just for his team to get wins. However, Butler is still putting on a show on offense nonetheless.
His best performance of the series came in Game 2. He produced 45 points, five rebounds, and five assists en route to a 115-105 victory. Another stellar outing was seen from him in Game 4, which saw him put up 36 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists for a 110-86 victory.
It wouldn’t be surprising for Butler to have another huge night on offense, especially in an elimination game where they can advance to the next round. If he finds his points early on, the Heat will have an easier job of getting a win in Game 5.
2. Miami will limit Trae Young to under 15 points
Given Trae Young’s knack for scoring, it is a must for opposing teams to come out with all the stops to prevent him from carrying his team to a victory. The Heat have successfully done that throughout this series, limiting the 23-year-old’s effectiveness on offense in multiple games.
His lowest output came in Game 1. Young was held to only eight points on 0-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc in that shellacking. Young had another dismal showing in Game 4 with just nine points on 3-of-10 shooting from 3. It isn’t a surprise that both performances resulted in lopsided losses for the Hawks.
After having a game to forget in Game 4, Young will surely try to be more aggressive in Game 5 in order to get his momentum early on. It will be quite a challenge to hold Young to under 15 points for the third time in this series. However, the Heat have already proven that their players can put the clamps on a scorer like Young, and their ability to do so will surely have a significant impact on the result of Game 5.
1. The Heat will impose their will against the Hawks and close out the series
Save for Game 3 where Atlanta managed to eke out a 111-110 victory, the series has been heavily in favor of Miami thus far. Even though the Heat will continue to miss the services of Kyle Lowry, they have the talent and depth to dominate this series regardless.
Miami’s main guys in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are sure to get their numbers on a regular basis. However, players like Tyler Herro, P.J. Tucker, Max Strus, and Gabe Vincent have also been providing valiant contributions that allow the Heat to maintain a comfortable cushion against the Hawks in this series. Upon seeing how the Philadelphia 76ers-Toronto Raptors series is panning out, it will be advantageous for Miami to close out Atlanta as soon as possible in order to get some much-needed rest before the start of the next round.
Erik Spoelstra’s squad will certainly try to go all out in Game 5 to ensure that the Hawks won’t extend this series and put up a threat to them for another game.