NBA playoffs 2022: For the Boston Celtics, and the Miami Heat, availability has been the most important attribute.

MIAMI — In January, the San Antonio Spurs Traded backup guard Bryn Forbes The Denver Nuggets. Five months later, this unassuming move made a huge impact on the 2022 Eastern Conference finals.

It was the opening of a new opportunity for the Boston Celtics As they have pushed for the realization of that, Miami Heat After a 93-80 Game 5 win Wednesday, a 3-2 series lead

It was eight years since the Spurs offered to do a midseason trade. The Celtics took a small part in the deal as they were third in the deal. It was also the long-awaited signal that Spurs were open for trades, and the Celtics wanted to be there.

A few weeks later, many phone calls, and lots of negotiations later, the Celtics pulled the sword from the stone The landed guard Derrick White.

White isn't the only reason why the Celtics are just one win away from their first NBA Finals appearance for 12 years. White is a starter-level point guard and a luxury backup for a title contender. This is why Boston is in this situation.

The East enjoyed the most competitive regular season in a generation. In the regular season standings, four 50-win teams were separated only by two games. One 44-win team was the winner (the Cleveland Cavaliers) didn't make the playoffs — there have been several years in the past decade when that got you the 5-seed in the East.

Unfortunately, injuries have reduced what was promised to be an all-time great East playoff bracket. Joel EmbiidTorn thumb ligament, orbital fracture, concussion damage to the Philadelphia 76ersYour chances of reaching the conference semifinal round. Khris MiddletonA knee injury could have been the decisive factor in the decision. Milwaukee BucksBoston lost the seven-game series in the second round.

Now, the Heat are down to a fraction of their 53-win record with three of their top offensive players injured.

Kyle LowryThe player who played the previous three games but was a shell of him, is currently 0-of-6 in game 5 and 5-of-23 overall. A hamstring injury has taken away his quickness and explosion. Jimmy Butler He is still playing on one leg. A sore knee has prevented him from being able jump and pass defenders. Butler has now been to the foul line six times in his last three games after he went there 26 times in Games 1 & 2.

The Celtics stopped protecting Butler in Game 5. They gave in to Butler's demands and treated him as a screen-setter who was not the most dominant offensive player on the team.

Ime Udoka, Celtics coach said that Butler was not looking to score. “We wanted to keep an eye on him and play him like a major.”

In the past two games and all the while playing through knee inflammation, Butler is 7-of-32 shooting, marking the worst two-game shooting stretch of his career (with at least 25 attempts) per ESPN Stats & Information research.

Tyler Herro He has been out of the last two games due to a groin injury. The Heat won't push Herro to play despite the stakes in this postseason. Erik Spoelstra stated that pushing Herro to play would be “irresponsible”. Herro averaged 21 points per game and this production has proved irreplaceable. Miami's losses in Games 4 & 5 have resulted in 81 for the team.

Recall the February deal. Boston's preparedness has saved them. As a crucial addition, Getting White has been a great help. Marcus Smart He has missed three games due to quad, foot, and ankle injuries. These games are 3-0 for the Celtics. Smart was limited to shooting 1-of-5 Wednesday, while White scored 14 points, five assists, and two steals.

White shot 5-of-6 and scored 11 of the Celtics 37 points in the first period. He almost single-handedly kept the team afloat. This was after White scored 13 points and had six rebounds, six assists, and three steals to replace Smart in Game 4.

“Derrick has been amazing in the last two games, his contributions to our group have been tremendous,” said Jaylen BrownHe was the star of the second half. He's been indispensable.”

The Celtics have a lot of problems. Smart's right foot is a medical case. Jayson Tatum A right shoulder problem has forced him to make some bizarre shots. Robert Williams III Brown is recovering from a hamstring injury and is currently battling a bone bruise in the left knee.

The Celtics' full roster was available in Game 5 for only the fourth and first games of the postseason. Brown (25 points) and Tatum (22-year-old who had a terrible shooting night), were the leaders. They won because they had more healthy players at the appropriate times.

The roster was constructed to allow for the gauntlet. White's inclusion and his ability within his role is a big reason why the Celtics have survived.

Luck has also played an important role. The Bucks, who are currently the champions, and the Heat, which are now the top-seeded Heat have not been as well-equipped nor as healthy as Boston.

Some would like to add that the title winner in some years should have an asterisk, as injuries or other circumstances may have played a role in their wins. This is absurd. The act of surviving the NBA marathon postseason and its competitors is what makes a champion.

Fans are missing out on better quality games in this series because of injuries. But the Celtics hold the lead. They have beaten their opponent. They had more when it was important.

Boston's journey to this point has not been a fairytale tale, but it has been incredibly successful.

Udoka explained that “the mental stress and strain we placed on some teams with defense has worked and carried our team through the playoffs at times.” “You saw it in Brooklyn [Nets] series, the guys started to get tired. Game 7. [Giannis] Antetokounmpo has slowed down a bit. However, having so many bodies to throw at people is tiring on them.”

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