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My readers know this already. I often choose Marcus Smart as the center of CelticsLife articles. He could be fishing in the Bahamas, and I would find a story. Well folks, there was a good story centered on Marcus last night in the Celtics home-court win over Milwaukee in Game Five of the series.

He played half-the-game (24 minutes) and had an impact in many ways - doesn't he always? The numbers are the usual line for Smart - nine points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal and three blocks. If you were worried about the UCL thumb injury, surgery and recovery, forget it. It was a non-issue, although every time he hit the floor I held my breath.

Speaking of hitting the floor, how about that fall with the clock at 28.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and Boston leading 84-79. Marcus went down with the ball and was covered in Bucks bodies with only a slight hint of white showing - that would be the compression sleeve and thumb protector adorning Smart's right arm. He was able to squeeze off (no other way to describe the play) a pass to Al Horford for two points.





Smart's shooting accuracy wasn't there (2-of-9 on field goals), but I was impressed by his foul shooting (5-of-5), passing and blocks. Injury? What injury? His defense? Come on - you know it's always there. Intensity? Yup!

But as I wrote yesterday about Marcus, his main goals were to be aggressive, aggravate, agitate and annoy. It worked. The Bucks shot 37% from the floor last night after hitting 52% and 57% in their last two games. There were other reasons for the poor Milwaukee shooting, but Marcus was a factor. Marcus is back - he was a major factor last night - he looks healthy - and most of all, his mom got to see him play and do all of the Marcus-things that make him a vital part of the Celtics team.

For the doubters, I present the bottom-two tweets as evidence. Look at Smart's block of Giannis Antetokounmpo. He got as high as the Greek Freak. He can guard anybody. I marvel at the strength and determination at getting that pass off to Al while smothered under bodies. I rest my case.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports

Tom Lane 4/25/2018 06:44:00 AM Edit
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