Why Al Horford's Miss Actually Benefited Celtics In Shot Clock Gaffe

I still tried to make plays, tried to put my teammates in the right spot. Terry Rozier has done an excellent job as the starter in his place, but the kind of impact that Irving has on a game simply can not be replaced.

With 28 seconds to play and falling to his knees in traffic, Smart found a wide open Al Horford for an easy two-handed slam to give the C's an 86-79 lead.

Marcus Smart didn't have to do anything out of the ordinary to reinvigorate the injury-ridden Celtics against the Bucks in Game 5. What was a bit surprising was how long he was able to do that for Boston. While he was playing, Smart did Smart things.

The Celtics weren't pleased that, at the end of Game 4, Khris Middleton wasn't whistled for striking Jaylen Brown on a sequence that prevented Boston from having a chance to extend its lead in the final minute.

The Celtics hope Smart can add a jolt of defensive intensity to a team that hasn't played to the standard it set while leading the National Basketball Association in defensive rating during the regular season.

Prunty and Bledsoe struggle again: One of the biggest problems for the Bucks in this series has been the negative impact of Eric Bledsoe and head coach Joe Prunty.

Tip off for Game 5 between Boston and Milwaukee is Wednesday morning, 0900hrs AEST. He scored nine points, brought down five rebounds, dished out four assists and blocked threee shots.

The Celtics led by 16 before Milwaukee rallied to make it 74-70 with 7:33 left. He played 25 minutes wearing a protective splint and had a key assist late from the bottom of a scrum beneath three Milwaukee players. Brogdon's absence was especially confusing considering the play of Bledsoe.

Miami has forced Philadelphia into taking a playoff-high 15.2% of its shots against very tight defense (closest defender within two feet). They can only review a potential shot clock violation on a made shot. The ball clearly was still on Horford's hand after the timer expired to the point that multiple Bucks stopped playing on the play.

Any playoff loss will not be remembered fondly by the Celtics faithful, but Sunday's 104-102 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks should be.

Not this first playoff series against Miami from the start, because it felt even... until Game 3 when Joel Embiid returned in his mask and tipped the scales. Covington has had the best luck against Wade, holding him to 9 points on 4-11 (36.4%) shooting and forcing 3 turnovers. That just won't get it done on the road for the underdog. In fact, the Bucks didn't get much of an explanation at all.

The Celtics do not raise Atlantic Division championship banners from the rafters, nor will they start hanging Indianapolis Colts-style moral victory pennants anytime soon either. Instead, they should be blaming the rims at the TD Garden.

  • Rosalie Stanley