Could the Heat already be jabbing the Celtics?
Following Miami’s come-from-behind 118-107 victory in Game 1, center Bam Adebayo used some language when speaking to reporters that could be interpreted as a swipe at Jaylen Brown. Back in January, Brown famously tweeted “the energy is about to shift” right before the Celtics embarked on their incredible run.
Adebayo copied those words when talking about the Heat’s effort in the third quarter, when they outscored the Celtics 39-14 and forced several turnovers to take control of the game.
“I feel like our energy shifted,” Adebayo said, per MassLive. “That was the biggest key. Our energy shifted. We started getting stops on defense and running, getting in transition and the crowd got into it.”
While Adebayo’s word choice might be coincidental, it wouldn’t be the first time a player threw shade at an opponent for his bravado. The Heat are clearly determined to outmuscle and torment the Celtics. Jimmy Butler, for example shot a staggering 18 free throws.
With such a vast talent differential between the two teams — especially once Al Horford and Marcus Smart return — Miami’s only chance might be to launch psychological warfare. The Heat were able to goad the Celtics into sloppy play Tuesday, and Brown was especially erratic. He turned the ball over twice and kept losing his handle.
Adebayo might be exploring how far he can take the battle.