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Celtics discuss added importance of eliminating Heat: 'Wanted to play Miami'

Since 2010, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat have faced each other in the playoffs seven times. It is the NBA's most frequent postseason matchup in that span.

They have now faced each other four times in the last five years, including in three of the last four Eastern Conference Finals.

With the Heat ending the Celtics' season on home soil last year, and the challenges that Erik Spoelstra's team brought no matter who was on the roster, it was a rivalry that Boston was eager to continue.

After posting 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds in the hosts' 118-84 win at TD Garden, completing a 4-1 series victory, Jayson Tatum openly questioned whether going over Miami meant more, to get to the finish For the seventh time in the last eight years, I reached the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“I mean, yeah,” the five-time All-Star confirmed. “I think it’s the fourth time in five years that I’ve played them in the playoffs. When the play-in game was going on and they were trying to figure out the standings, I just thought about it. “We wanted to play Miami.

“And I wanted to play against Miami in the sense that we might have relaxed a little bit last year against Atlanta. But knowing the history with Miami and how hard they play and how well coached they are, for a first-round matchup, regardless of seeding, we had to be ready to play and ready to fight.”

Tatum's head coach looked at it from a different angle and expressed what it means to beat the Heat: “If you do that every year, I'm not really worried about what happened last year,” he told Joe Mazzulla .

“Ultimately, I like how we approached the series regardless of who we are playing. She had intent, attention to detail and consistent physicality, and that's the most important thing.” No matter who you play, wake up, you have to do it again against another team. So it doesn't matter what happened next.

Derrick White, who boosted his career-high 38 points in the Celtics' 102-88 win in Game 4 by matching Jaylen Brown's 25 points to lead all scorers in Wednesday's decisive win, shared a similar sentiment to Tatum and noted : It is important to end the heat at home, a challenge that has often overwhelmed her in recent years.

“We just had great battles against them. We've had opportunities to shut them down in the past, particularly on our home court, and failed. “We were able to take them out here tonight and the way we did it is definitely big.”

further reading

Celtics defeat Heat to reach East semifinals for 7th time in 8 years

Derrick White praises teammates for Career Night: “The credit goes to them”

Derrick White stars, Porzingis is out, Celtics bring Heat to the brink of elimination

'Burned Inside': Kristaps Porzingis recovers from 'worst game as a Celtic'

Celtics right the wrongs of Game 2 and take a 2-1 lead

Heat's historic shooting has Celtics thinking: 'We have to respond'

Heat outmuscle and outshoot Celtics, the series is sent to Miami tied at 2 points

Celtics bench stars in their role in win over Heat in Game 1: “An identity of our team”

Jayson Tatum talks about his first career playoff triple-double: “A beautiful game”

Celtics protect the floor with dominant performance in Game 1 against Heat

Anna Harden

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