After the Boston Celtics blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in a Game 5 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, team point guard Marcus Smart admitted he wasn’t happy with their performance. Far from looking for excuses, Smart acknowledged that they gave away the victory.
«We’re still hot just because we know we lost it ourselves. No one else », he acknowledged to journalists at his press conference. The Celtics player also opted to turn the page as soon as possible: «That’s it, we have to go back and overcome this. We don’t have time to get angry, we don’t have time to lower our heads. This is what it is, let’s move on to the next game, ”said one of the locker room leaders.
Smart himself was heavily criticized for his performance in the final minutes. The base was the subject of a strong defense by Jrue Holiday in the final moments of the game. Holiday blocked Smart’s game-winning layup and regained possession by throwing the ball to him as he went out of bounds. Also, on Boston’s final possession, Holiday stole the ball from Smart as he attempted a game-tying 3-pointer.
Marcus was not the only member of the Celtics who lamented at a press conference. The team’s coach, Ime Udoka, understood the seriousness of the situation. “We were better for three and a half quarters. In the locker room we talked about how we should have shown our determination. With this loss we made everything more difficult for us now. It will be sweeter when we recover, but we know we are giving up a golden opportunity tonight.»
Udoka was able to pinpoint exactly what went wrong for the Celtics: offensive rebounding. Boston allowed Milwaukee to get 17 offensive rebounds. Especially painful was Bobby Portis after a missed free throw by Giannis Antetokounmpo, as it served to give the Bucks the lead with 11 seconds left. «Actually, that was the story of the match,» lamented the coach.
(Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)