Marcus Smart reveals secrets to beating Bucks after losing Game 5

When the Boston Celtics lost Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Milwaukee Bucks, many thought Marcus Smart and his team were dead in the water.

It was a brutal, devastating loss for Boston as the Bucks won in front of the Celtics’ own fans at the TD Garden, bouncing back from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to a three-point win. The loss left the Celtics trailing 3-2 in the series.

Any team that lost like that would have had so much to talk about and so much emotion to deal with in the dressing room after the game.

But oddly not for these Celtics:

“Everybody looked at each other and patted each other on the back and it was over,” Marcus Smart described to ESPN’s Zach Lowe. “On to the next one. We all knew. just stay together stay together We had each other’s backs. We knew Game 6 for us, it was going to be all hell. And there was.”

In fact, Smart didn’t go straight home that evening. He went to the Celtics practice facility, did a few jump shots, and then sat in a cold tub. He felt he had let the team down and vowed to do much better:

“I got it right, pulled myself together,” said Smart. “It was brutal. I felt like I let my teammates down.”

The next day, Smart and the Celtics pored over films, held each other accountable and were very transparent. They won Game 6 for the right to play Game 7 at home. They also won that game and redeemed themselves in front of their fans.

Now the Celtics are in a similar place but with much bigger stakes. Beating the Golden State Warriors 2-3 in the NBA Finals, Marcus Smart and the Celtics must use the same relentless magic to win Game 6.

And while Game 7 won’t be home this time around, maybe, just maybe, Smart and his teammates can get things right one last time this season.

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