There is no better salve for the sting of a loss than the rush of a hard-fought win in the NBA playoffs. After a pair of steals and a Jrue Holiday block of what might have been a game-winning shot sent Boston Celtics veteran point guard Marcus Smart to a bit of a dark place after the Celtics’ Game 5 loss to Holiday’s Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, that became quite evident to the Flower Mound native on Friday.
“I’ll just say that tonight will be the first night after that, since that game, that I got some sleep,” shared Smart after Boston’s big Game 6 win at Fiserv Forum against the Bucks.
“I haven’t been asleep yet,” he related.
“So right out of the gate, (after) that game, I went straight back to the practice facility and got my mind right,” added the Oklahoma State product.
“I just tried to do everything I could to prepare for (Game 6 in Milwaukee), and make sure we bounce back.”
Smart made sure to credit his teammates for having his back after the loss too.
“That final minute, those final minutes really ate me up,” he suggested, alluding to those fateful plays faced up with Holiday.
“My guys, teammates, coaches were doing a good job making sure I stayed as composed as I could, keeping my mind right because I was really hurting after that. I feel like I let my team down, (but they said) just be you, and this is all they kept telling me. Damian Stoudamire pulled me to the side and told me. I dropped my head a couple of times on those possessions, and he (said) ‘I’ve never seen you do that, and I want you to not lose confidence in yourself because we need you.”
“Coming tonight, I just wanted to make it up for my teammates, help them out and to try and get this win,” Smart added.
The Celtics did indeed get the win to extend their season and force a Game 7 on their own court thanks in large part to Smart’s 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists.
And while we believe the Texan floor general to have been far too hard on himself (it was not he who was jawing with the referees and allowing the open 3s to lose the lead, after all) we expect he and his teammates are feeling much more confident heading into Game 7 after what they did to make it happen.
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Source: Yahoo Sports