Hawks Forward Thinks Heat Gave Them ‘Template’ To Beat Celtics

Jimmy Butler has been a true inspiration


Apr 27, 2023

The Hawks were given life after their Game 5 win on Tuesday, and Atlanta was given inspiration after the Heat’s upset of the Bucks on Wednesday.

Jimmy Butler led Miami to a Game 5 overtime win that kicked out No. 1 seed Milwaukee in the first round of the NBA playoffs. It was a result the Boston Celtics were not shocked by — likely because of the respect they have for the Heat from their past playoff matchups with them.

But Miami’s path to the Eastern Conference semifinals might be the blueprint for the Hawks to make a comeback from a 3-1 series deficit and force a Game 7 back at TD Garden, at least according to one Atlanta player.

“They just showed (the template),” De’Andre Hunter told reporters Thursday, per Kevin Chouinard of Hawks.com. “(Miami) played two play-in games. We played one. They got the (No. 8) seed and beat the (No. 1) seed, and I feel like we could do the same.”

It’s a bold statement from the fourth-year forward, but it’s one Boston should try to ensure does not happen, especially after a disastrous Game 5 that featured the worst of the Marcus Smart experience and head coach Joe Mazzulla seemingly got caught up in the moment, similar to Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer in this year’s playoffs.

The Hawks will get a boost with star guard Dejounte Murray back after a one-game suspension, so Celtics fans can only hope the team shows it can bounce back after its Game 5 blunder.

Tipoff from State Farm Arena is scheduled at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

Thumbnail photo via Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports Images
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