MILWAUKEE – Every member of the Boston Celtics inside the Fiserv Forum on Saturday afternoon was in disbelief.
With the clock ticking and the Celtics down by three, Jaylene Brown of Boston handed the ball to Marcus Smart on the perimeter. Immediately, Smart tried to shoot with the guard of the Milwaukee Bucks, Junior Holiday, without giving it any space. The whistle blew immediately as Holiday’s arm hit Smart’s.
However, to the delight of most of the 17,736 in attendance and the chagrin of everyone in the Celtics’ traveling party, the foul was called on the court, rather than a three-shot foul. Smart made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second to give Boston another chance, but none of the three attempts went in, giving Milwaukee a 103-101 victory and a 2-1 series lead. of seven.
Boston coach Ime Udoka said flatly that he felt he missed the call.
“It was a foul. It was a foul. He caught the ball, it’s turning into a shot,” Udoka said advocating a shot foul instead of the ground call. “Both feet on. You can’t tell it’s a sweep. You’re going to make a shot. That’s a bad call. Poor no call.”
When asked what explanation they gave him, Udoka said that he was told that Smart was sweeping his arms.
I saw it in person, but I also saw it on the tape that I just watched,” Udoka said. “It is an opportunity. He is going into a shot. He was fouled on the way up. Bad missed call.”
When asked about the postgame call, Smart asked every reporter in the room what they thought. After getting no real answer, Smart said, “I mean, that’s all I have to say.”
Smart said that in that time and situation, it didn’t make sense for him to attempt the move knowing the Celtics needed to play to a tie.
“You need three [puntos] with 4.6 seconds, they know we need three,” Smart said. “We know they’re going to foul. It’s not like he caught me when I was low. I was already on my shooting move. I thought it would be 3 free throws, they said no.”
Instead, Smart made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second to try to give the Celtics a chance. Smart, Robert Williams III Y Al Horford they had attempts but none fell. Horford’s second attempt, which went through the basket and sent some of the Celtics’ dugout celebrating, was a tenth of a second after the clock expired.
“Smart timed it perfectly,” Horford said. “I was able to get the rebound. At that point, it was just hanging around the rim. We felt like we had a good look there. I think I tipped it once, missed it, the second time I knew it was a little bit off, so I was It’s not very optimistic. I was late. But we gave ourselves the chance to equalize and send it into extra time.”
Smart said he made the call to attempt the missed free throw on his own and informed his teammates that he was coming, but indicated there might have been another missed call as his teammates were trying to shoot late.
“It was perfect. I missed it perfectly,” Smart said. “No one was ready. Our guys were. I got it. [Bobby Portis, delantero de los Milwaukee Bucks] he grabbed me by the shoulder and yanked me off. But I saw it well. I got it in the hoop. Like Al said, we had a few chances, but it didn’t work out for us.”
Boston trailed as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter before taking a 100-99 lead on a pair of Jaylen Brown free throws with 1:49 left. Milwaukee couldn’t respond on its next possession and Boston had two chances to take the lead to four, but Smart and Brown each missed 3-pointers.
In the next time, Giannis Antetokounmpo he hit a layup to give the Bucks the lead. After another stop, Holiday hit a bucket in the lane to push the lead to 103-100 with 11.2 to go. Udoka crafted a play out of timeout that could have gotten two quick, but the Bucks foiled it.
“Smart threw it to me in the corner,” Brown said. “Jrue Holiday was on me. He did a good job of putting pressure on me. He was trying to get to my spot and he took it from me, so I gave it back to Smart.”
That’s when Brown pondered the call late in the game.
“You have to understand timing and scoring,” he added. “We’re down three. We’re looking to move up one. I thought that was pretty obvious. All year they’ve been chanting that on the floor, which we understand. But timing and scoring, I think they missed one.”
Holiday said he thought Smart was still on the sidelines when the contact occurred. “That’s not a shooting move,” Holiday said. “I wasn’t looking over the edge.”
Milwaukee coach, Mike Budenholzersaid the plan wasn’t for the Bucks to foul three in that situation, but they were lucky the call was just down two free throws instead of three.
There were a few times when Udoka thought about using his challenge before deciding to accept it on a block/charge call that went against Grant Williams
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