It is rare that a first round sweep qualifies as a ratings hit, but Celtics-Nets ranks as easily the strongest draw thus far of a resurgent NBA Playoffs. Saturday’s Celtics-Nets first round NBA playoff Game 3 averaged a 2.5 rating and 4.62 million viewers on ESPN, peaking at 5.88 million — marking the network’s most-watched first round playoff game in 12 years (2010 Lakers-Thunder Game 6: 4.83M). Monday’s clinching Game 4 averaged 3.83 million on TNT, the least-watched game of the series but still the eighth-largest audience of this year’s postseason.
May 18, 2022 | 1:01 am EDT Update
Talks between Irving, Marks and Nets owner Joe Tsai have yet to happen. “I look forward to [it],” Marks told YES Network. “We have not had a conversation yet. So I look forward to getting in a room with him and Joe and his team, and we will. We’ll see what it looks like for Kyrie moving forward here, and what he needs from us and so forth. “So, again, it wouldn’t be right for me to comment on what hypothetical could happen, because we don’t know. We haven’t had those conversations with Kyrie yet. But when they do, we’ll see if it’s the right fit for both sides.”
If Irving opts out, he would be eligible for a four-year, $189.7 million extension or even a five-year, $245.6 million deal, with only the Nets able to offer him the fifth year. If he picks up his option, he could ink extensions of either three or four years, picking up in 2023-24, but that would require leaving more than $5 million on the table next season. The Nets should be expected to try to protect themselves, either with a shorter deal or baked-in incentives. Irving’s current four-year, $136 million deal contains a total of $4.3 million in incentives, per Spotrac, with $3 million of that so-called “unlikely bonuses.”
Butler scored 27 of his 41 points in the second half, and a huge third quarter by the Heat carried them to a 118-107 win over the short-handed Boston Celtics 118-107 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night. “Jimmy Butler is an elite competitor,” Spoelstra said. “There’s a lot of guys in this league that are playing basketball. He’s competing to win. That’s a totally different thing and he does that as well as anybody in this league.”
Tyler Herro scored 18 and Gabe Vincent added 17 for the Heat, who outscored Boston 39-14 in the third quarter. Butler had 17 alone in the third, outscoring the Celtics by himself over those 12 minutes. Boston shot 2 for 15 in that third quarter. “We won three quarters other than that, but obviously that one is going to stand out,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. “We semi-bounced back in the fourth and started to play well again and matched their physicality, but 39-14 on 2-for-15 is tough to overcome.”
The Celtics became unglued in the third quarter of their Game 1 matchup against the Miami Heat and a lot of that was the team’s own doing according to head coach Ime Udoka. All season long, Udoka has prided himself on trying to make the Celtics be a team that doesn’t get caught up in battling with the officials. However, as the Celtics watched the Heat erupt for a 39-14 third quarter explosion, Udoka “We all got caught up in officiating a little bit in that quarter when they got physical,” Udoka admitted. “Instead of trying to make the right play, drive and kick, get to the basket, we were looking for fouls, and that led to some of those turnovers.”
“Got out-physicaled, got out-toughed,” Udoka said. “They looked like they came out in the second half and wanted to up their physicality and aggression on both ends, and they did that. I don’t think we obviously responded well on either end of the floor. We had eight of our 16 turnovers in that quarter, played in the crowd on offense, got sped up. And then defensively, offensive rebounds, getting muscled around in the post. Some poor fouls got them to the free throw line. “So, flipped very quickly and just lost our composure. We won three quarters other than that, but obviously that one is going to stand out. We semi-bounced back in the fourth and started to play well again and matched their physicality, but 39-14 on 2-for-15 is tough to overcome.”