Marcus Smart addresses late game issues from Celtics’ Game 5 loss

There were a number of plays in the final minutes of the Celtics’ Game 5 loss to the Bucks that will be put under the microscope. And in most of those plays, Marcus Smart was in the center.

It was a tough game-close period for the 2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He had two last-minute turns, and was also one of two players to let batting into a potential game-winning rebound and turn down Bobby Portes’ scoreboard.

Smart wasn’t the only reason the Celtics lost – they edged out 31-14 during the final 10 minutes of the game after taking a 14-point lead early in the fourth quarter. However, after the match he was the one answering questions about some of the game’s most important plays.

“I think we didn’t do what we were supposed to do,” Smart said when asked to analyze what happened to the Celtics at the end of the game. “The mentality was there to go win the match, but it failed. We didn’t execute when we were supposed to, when it was most important, and they did.”

When it came to a specific execution, Smart was first asked about undoing a missed free throw.

“That’s the game over there. 17 offensive rebounds and he had seven, and he was the biggest one on the night so that’s it. That’s it,” Smart said, before delving deeper into the play in question. “Two guys chase the ball and it just happens. It is out of our control. [Jaylen Brown] He had a ball, JB and I ran into each other and Portis was in the right place at the right time and landed on his lap and he threw it. It happens, but we shouldn’t even be in that situation even if he puts it in – let’s make it a game. We just collapsed due to the lynching along his stretch and it hurts us.”

“If we came out of the box, we won that game,” Smart later said, noting that the rebound was the “biggest lesson” the Celtics could take away from losing. “They did a good job getting their team extra shots and hitting them and forcing us to pay. So we have to do a better job in that regard and clean that up.”

Smart was also asked about the Celtics’ final offensive play of the match, which led to a spin as he lifted the ball to the ground by three points.

“I have not seen [Jrue Holiday]. The play was, in fact, [Jayson Tatum] They were supposed to come and get it, but everyone was just standing there, we didn’t have a deadline and there were five seconds in the way,” Smart explained. “I just opened up, and I tried to make a play. Jrue did a good job of helping out. That’s it, he made a good play.”

Smart, one of the team’s vocal leaders, was also asked about the mood in the locker room after the match. He said, “We were hot, we know we did it ourselves. Nobody else is to blame.”

“We just have to come back and keep swinging. We have to fight back, and that is what it is,” Smart said, talking about how the team went from this loss to match six. “We don’t have time to worry about how we lost. We don’t have time to worry about “oh we lost and now it hurts”. We don’t have time for that. This painful. It sure hurts, but we don’t have time to feel it. We have to move on to the next stage, and it’s really simple – if you’re not ready to play the next game, don’t step into that court. This is how you prepare and move forward.”

The Celtics will move on one way or another on Friday – a win in Game 6 takes them to Game 7 again in Boston, while a loss takes them out of the season. When the information will be provided has yet to be announced, but pre-match coverage will begin 30 minutes before the game’s official start on 98.5 The Sports Hub Celtics Radio Network.

PHOTOS: The Celtics compete for the Bucks in Game Series 5 of 2022

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