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) /

Greek Freak stopper

Marcus Smart was not the only one who made a difference off the stat sheet. In his first career start, Semi Ojeleye played the best defense of his life.

In a surprising move, Brad Stevens went with the rookie Ojeleye over the struggling Aron Baynes. The move allowed Al Horford to switch over to Tyler Zeller to start and gave Semi the difficult challenge of guarding the Greek Freak.

He didn’t disappoint.

All night, Ojeleye beat Giannis to spots, denied him the ball, and forced plenty of pickups to keep the Bucks star in check. Antetokounmpo finished with just 16 points on only 10 shots. The strategy worked like a charm and Ojeleye was the reason why.

Instead of Giannis getting easy layups and dunks, the Boston Celtics were able to transfer those shots to guys like Eric Bledsoe, Thon Maker, Tony Snell, and Shabazz Muhammad. On any day of the week, I’ll take a contested perimeter shot by a role player over an easy dunk by someone named the Greek Freak.

Semi also came up with a couple huge clutch rebounds late in the game. In a stretch where no one on the Celtics could come up with a lose ball, Ojeleye grabbed one in traffic that led to a layup. Then, with under two to go, he tapped out a miss to add another possession. What was that missed shot you ask?