Marcus Smart will want to forget the closing seconds of Game 5’s 110-107 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Bucks point guard Jrue Holiday clinched Milwaukee’s comeback victory by picking Smart’s pocket on the final possession. Right before that, he swatted Smart’s attempt at a game-winning layup.
On Monday, Celtics coach Ime Udoka conducted a postmortem of the crushing loss on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak and Bertrand” (h/t NESN’s Adam London). When asked about the doomed inbounds play with 11.4 seconds remaining, Udoka steered the blame away from Smart.
“We didn’t execute as well as we wanted to,” Udoka said. “We had some off-side action, bringing a specific player on their team up into the action to get the switch. We knew how they’d be defending it. Didn’t get into it quick enough and get the ball where we wanted to. So, Marcus had to go make a play — five-second count counting down and no timeouts. Nothing to blame Marcus about that at all. It was really our lack of execution overall as a team.”
The Defensive Player of the Year spread the blame throughout the team. During his postgame press conference, via Celtics on NBC Sports Boston’s Twitter account, Smart said they “beat ourselves” by allowing the Bucks to collect 17 offensive rebounds.
After Al Horford led them to an inspiring Game 4 win, Boston ceded control of the second-round series back to the defending champions. The Celtics will look to avoid elimination Friday night at Milwaukee.