Kyle Lowry, PJ Tucker is back in the heat, start game 3 on Saturday in Boston in the Eastern Final – Reading Eagle
Kyle Lowry and PJ Tucker returned to the starting lineup for the Miami Heat on Saturday night in Game 3 at TD Garden against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals with the top seven.
For The Heat it was a significant step considering that Lowry missed eight of the previous 10 games due to left hamstring tension, and given that Tucker got a bruised left knee in Game 2 on Thursday night to such an extent that initially there were thoughts about the need for MRI.
Both were involved in the morning shooting at TD Garden, announced as the starting point 45 minutes before the start.
Lowry missed the last two weeks, initially injured on April 22 in the Heats’ 3-round defeat in the first round by the Atlanta Hawks, a series that Heath won 4-1.
He then returned, but was knocked out in the Eastern Semifinals against the Philadelphia 76ers, which the Heat won 4-2. Until Saturday, his last action took place on May 8 in Philadelphia.
Heath coach Eric Spoelstra stressed that the failure against the 76ers was not a failure in terms of Lowry’s rehabilitation.
“He wanted to play Game 5 in the final series,” Spoelstra said of when Lowry began to break away from four in a row. “I think we treated it properly. I think even before that, in the Philly series, we put a tick. Things happen.
“He did not get repeated injuries. I think it was important so he was still able to heal. If he had been injured again, I think he would have been much longer. It’s just that he still felt it, so we made a mistake and spent more time. “
Celtics coach Imo Udoka noted Lowry’s ability to set the tone for Heath.
“It’s the increased awareness of the veteran-player who does a lot of good things for the team. At once their pace increases, and it kind of pushes up the pace, kills the ground, finding guys, ”Udoka said 90 minutes before the tip. “And obviously a three-point threat, a guy we’ve played against for years and know the veteran presence he brings to the team. Just another guy you need to know, as well as other shooters they have. ”
Tucker left defeat Thursday night at the FTX Arena after a first knee injury in the first half and a worsening of it in the third quarter.
But instead of an MRI there was treatment and then a trial on Saturday morning.
Spoelstra laughed when asked what it would take to keep the 37-year-old Tucker from coming out.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I think we’re all with him somehow on an eggshell. You can’t ask him how he’s doing. I can’t ask the coach because when he sees me talking to the coach, he barks at me and yells at me when I talk to the coaches. I’m allowed to talk to coaches, that’s part of my job.
“But it’s a return on every definition of it.”
Spoelstra said he knows that if his players can play, they will play.
“For better or worse, we don’t have guys who connect like that,” Spoelstra said of players who made a mistake on the side of caution.
Returning to the mix, Lowry introduced a similar upgrade to what the Celtics got in Game 2, after guard Marcus Smart and big man El Horford were turned down from defeat in Game 1 on the Heath court on Tuesday night.
“Obviously you have a playmaker in the Hall of Fame,” Spoelstra said of the 36-year-old Lowry. – It will not be 40 minutes. But whatever his minutes, he has experience and a resume. You can’t necessarily put weight on it; you just know what it means for your team, especially in such a building, on the road ”.
At the Celtics, guard Derrick White has returned after missing Game 2 due to the birth of a son. But the Celtics have brought center-back Robert Williams back to an injury report that has been ruled out due to knee pain.
Williams has dropped out of his last four games in the Celtics’ semi-final semi-final 4-3 and defeated the Milwaukee Bucks due to a knee problem that resulted from a previous meniscus operation. He then played in the first two games against Heath with unequal results.
Udoka decided to start Daniel Thais instead of Williams.
“We’ve always liked our size, and we’ve done well this year,” Udoka said of Thais. “Like Grant puts [Williams] returned to his role despite having done both this and the second this year. And in terms of confrontation, and schematics, and schematically, what we want to do and how we want to get started, Daniel benefits us, and we allow Al to keep his role that he would with Rob. ”