Boston Celtics: 4 takeaways from pivotal Game 5 victory

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 24: Marcus Smart
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 24: Marcus Smart /
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(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t relaxing, but the Boston Celtics pulled out a victory in Game 5. Find out how and why the C’s took a huge 3-2 advantage.

Once the buzzer sounded, a huge weight dropped from the shoulders of the Boston Celtics. The home team came through once again, winning 92-87 and taking a 3-2 advantage in the series.

Obviously, there is no reason to celebrate yet. Another loss in Milwaukee, and the entire season would come down to one game. And everyone knows anything can happen in a Game 7.

But I don’t want to focus on that right now. Let’s be happy today. The Celtics won a huge Game 5 and it was awesome. Frustrating, nail-biting, tense, but awesome. Here are the four leaf clovers from Tuesday’s game.

Back in a big way

Welcome back, Marcus Smart.

If you ever need a reminder of how valuable Marcus Smart is to the Boston Celtics, re-watch what he did on the court tonight. One game earlier than expected, the adrenaline (as Tommy Heinsohn would say) of the team showed up in a big way.

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It was no coincidence that on the first defensive possession he played. No.36 ended up on the floor with a steal. Taped hand and all, he took no time getting dirty and making the plays that don’t show up on the statline.

The defensive intensity did not stop there. All night, Smart showed how much his presence was missed all over the court. Whether it was guarding Malcolm Brogdon on the ball, Khris Middleton on switches in the post, or even Giannis Antetokounmpo a few times, he proved his worth. No more will Khris Middleton get open looks shooting over 5’11” Shane Larkin. Terry Rozier won’t have to struggle as much with guarding Giannis on switches.

However, the most important play Smart made didn’t come until the last minute of the game. With the Celtics up 5, Marcus fell to the floor with the ball. In most situations, a player would try to call timeout or succumb to the jump ball. Some might even complain about the non-foul call while the play was still going on.

Nope, not Marcus Smart. He wrestled the ball away from three Bucks defenders and flipped the ball to Horford. he layed it in, the Celtics went up 7, that’s your ballgame.

Without Marcus Smart, the Celtics are not winning this game. His statline was 9-5-4, but he meant so much more. The second he walked omn the court, Smart made a difference.