Skip to main content

Stephen A. Smith compares the Miami Heat to “a bunch of construction workers” after their brick-filled Game 5

When the Celtics limit their mistakes, the Heat struggle to score, and their half-court offense has had no answer for Boston's stingy defense
Stephen A. Smith compares the Miami Heat to “a bunch of construction workers” after their brick-filled Game 5

Sometimes Smith can get a bit carried away with his colorful commentary, but he’s spot on here. The Heat had absolutely nothing going for them on offense all night long

The Eastern Conference Finals feature two of the best defensive teams in the NBA, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. The series has been gruesome for the most part, with both teams doing their best to implement their defensive game plan and make the other side struggle to get any offense. Through five games, the Celtics are beginning to win this war of attrition.

Miami shot just 31.9 percent from the field in Game 5, including a paltry 15.6 percent on three-pointers. They struggled to get open looks all night long, and even when they did, they typically ended up missing them anyway. It led to a typically impassioned rant from ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith after the game:

“I don’t care who you are, I don’t care how great or putrid your defense is, if you can’t make shots, anybody can beat you, and that was the Miami Heat tonight. They resembled a bunch of construction workers, looking like they were throwing bricks all over the damn place.” - Stephen A. Smith, ESPN.

Smith provides a perfect analogy for the Heat’s offense in Game 5

Sometimes Smith can get a bit carried away with his colorful commentary, but he’s spot on here. The Heat had absolutely nothing going for them on offense all night long. They took 23 more shots from the field than the Celtics last night, but it didn’t matter because Boston still made three more field goals than them. In a series that has featured some ugly offensive outings, Miami’s performance in Game 5 was the worst of them all.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

In a way, it makes sense. Both sides are struggling with injuries, but it’s becoming clear it’s taking a massive toll on Miami. They were without Tyler Herro for the second straight game last night, and guys like Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, and P.J. Tucker are playing at less than 100 percent. They have been no match for Boston’s stingy defense without their expected offensive contributions.

How the Celtics are slowing down the Heat on offense

Smith’s construction worker analogy works for the Heat because the Celtics force them into so many tough shots. But how have they managed to do it so consistently in Games 4 & 5 after letting Miami run wild early on in the series?

Sometimes, the best defense starts on offense, and that’s been the case for Boston. They struggled with ball security in the first half of Game 5, turning the ball over ten times. They cut that number down to five in the second half, and they unsurprisingly ran away with the game.

Miami makes their money by outworking their opponent, and that’s what they did in the first half of this game. They forced turnovers, made hustle plays, and constantly came up with offensive rebounds.

But when they cannot do that, the Heat are in big trouble. When Boston gets back and sets up their half-court defense, Miami has had practically no offense to speak of. Most of their first-half points came from Boston turning the ball over or offensive rebounds. It wasn’t even a contest once the C’s cleaned up their act in the second half.

When the Celtics limit their mistakes and don’t give the Heat free points, the Heat have struggled to score points. Boston is building a path to the Finals on the back of Miami’s bricks, and with another subpar shooting outing from them in Game 6, the Boston Celtics could finally complete that path.

Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley and New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson

“It looked like me and Shaq had a baby” — when Chuck had Shaq dying laughing with his Zion comment

One year later, Zion proved he's put in the work and is leading the New Orleans Pelicans to the playoffs.

Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant and Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas

"It was intelligent trash talking, when you played him you’re playing a mental war" — Gilbert Arenas shares his experience trash-talking Kobe Bryant

Former Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas outlines what it was like to receive trash-talking from Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

Former NBA player Stephen Jackson

"They gave me a check for $25,000 cash, I blew it all in one day" — Stephen Jackson reveals he blew his first NBA paycheck

Former three-point specialist Stephen Jackson reveals how he and Mike Bibby spent his first NBA pay check in a few hours.

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and New Orleans Hornets guard Devin Brown

“I think we can pay you a little bit more than that” — When Gregg Popovich saved Devin Brown from an overnight stocker job

Thanks to Gregg Popovich's training camp invite, Devin Brown was able to live his NBA dream.

Dennis Rodman

"How was the nightlife with Dennis Rodman?" — questions that Chicago Bulls big man Luc Longley absolutely hated

Even those outside Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman were annoyed with repetitive questions.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and NBA great Charles Barkley

“He’s been the best 2-guard in the NBA all year” — Charles Barkley reiterates his admiration for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Saying that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the best shooting guard this season might be a stretch, but don't say that to Charles Barkley.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young

“I don’t want the leader of my team to be Trae Young” — Bill Simmons and Ryen Russillo on all the guards they'd take ahead of Trae Young

When it comes to winning basketball, Simmons and Russillo believe that there are 8 point guards under 30 that are better than Young.