Warriors

Why Celtics' Stevens likens Heat to Steph-Kerr Warriors

Warriors

During their run to five straight NBA Finals, the Warriors were an offensive machine that was impossible to stop at full strength.

While no team can match the offensive firepower of those Warriors, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens does liken this current iteration of the Miami Heat to those championship Warriors teams in two areas.

"They are excellent cutters, they are physical cutters," Stevens said of the Heat prior to Game of 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. "You got to get low, got to make it as tough as possible and you've got to be willing to tip you hat and say great shot and move on a couple of those plays.

"This is probably the closest team in the East that we've seen to the Warriors in regards to their cutting and shooting."

Stevens, of course, isn't saying the Heat have the same talent that those Warriors did, but just that their offensive style and potency is similar.

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The Heat play a beautiful brand of basketball that relies on ball movement, cutting and 3-point shooting. During the regular season, the Heat ranked seventh in offensive rating and shot 37.9 percent from 3-point range. During the NBA playoffs, the Heat rank fourth in offensive rating and third in 3-point percentage at 38.6.

Led by Jimmy Butler, the Heat have a potent offensive attack that can carve teams up in a number of ways. Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson are deadly from beyond the arc, Bam Adebayo is a talented offensive playmaker, Goran Dragic is the definion to a walking bucket and former Warrior Andre Iguodala is one of the highest basketball IQ players in the NBA.

 

The Heat got the better of Stevens' Celtics in Game 1 on Tuesday night, as Adebayo blocked a Jayson Tatum dunk attempt in the final seconds of overtime to give the Heat a one-game-to-zero series lead.

Steve Kerr's beautiful ball-movement offense tore the league apart for five seasons. The Heat's attack looks similar -- a smooth assault that pleases the eye as it dices up its opponents.

The Warriors' absence from the NBA playoffs has been notable. But even when they aren't playing, their impact isn't far from the minds of those still vying for the title.