May 29, 2023

Kenny Smith Sees Heat’s Confidence ‘Stirred’ After Game 5 Loss To Celtics


The Miami Heat missed another opportunity to close out the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night.

And the Heat were never really close at ending Boston’s season, either, with the Celtics leading from wire-to-wire in Game 5 to stave off elimination with a resounding 110-97 victory at TD Garden.

After two straight losses for the Heat and having to now travel back to Miami for Game 6, former NBA player and current TNT analyst Kenny Smith doesn’t see Miami’s confidence shaken, but admitted it’s pretty close to that.

“Not shaken, but stirred,” Smith said as seen on the TNT postgame show. “Meaning it’s stirred up. (The Heat are) like, ‘Ok, wait a minute. The things that we were doing pretty easily, we’re not doing easily anymore and why not?’ So, now you have to question why not. When they won one game, you’re like, ‘They’re the Boston Celtics, they were the No. 2 seed in the NBA. Of course they’re going to win games.’ But when you lose two in a row, you’re stirring it up and now you have to questions and your strategy has to change from the Miami Heat.”

While Smith might be parsing words, his colleague Charles Barkley was more deliberate.

“I think why their confidence is shaken, they can’t beat the Celtics when the Celtics play well,” Barkley said.

The Celtics certainly did that in Game 5, getting more than 20 points from Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Derrick White while shooting 41% (16-for-39) from 3-point range to take down the Heat.

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