Marcus Smart shuts down Paul Millsap, comes to Celtics rescue in game 4

The only reason I haven't had a heart attack during this Celtics, Hawks series is because I'm 23 and in (relatively) descent shape.

At one point in game four Boston trailed Atlanta by 16 points. I knew the Celtics were more than capable of a comeback, but after watching Paul Millsap for the first 3 quarters of Sunday night's game I could have sworn that the Atlanta power forward was going to drop 60. 

Nobody could stop Millsap. Whether it was Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko, Jared Sullinger or Evan Turner...The dude just kept scoring, the Celtics didn't have an answer.

Normally when a guy is having his way in the post, the last thing a coach would think to do is throw a point guard on him. Not Brad Stevens.

Matching Smart up with Millsap was the smartest thing (no pun intended) that the young coach had done all night.

This decision literally saved the game. I love it. Millsap obliterates every Celtic that comes his way and then BOOM Marcus Smart shuts him down. Ending Millsap's dominance was the key to the Celtics success on Sunday night. Even Atlanta's Kyle Korver had to admit it.

Paul Millsap wasn't the only Hawk to be shut down by Smart. Marcus Smart practically made his own Revis Island out there. 

Smart's effort's did not go unnoticed as veteran guard Evan Turner dished plenty of credit his way in a post game interview.

Honestly, I love everything about Smart's performance in game four. He proved once again that he is fearless. Not only fearless on the defensive end of the court but also on offense. Anyone who watched more than 10 Celtics' games this year knows that Marcus Smart isn't exactly a "sharpshooter" from beyond the arch. Smart's lack of success in the past hasn't made him second guess himself during this series. If it wasn't for Smart's huge 3-pointers in the 4th quarter the C's are probably down 3-1 heading back to Atlanta. 

Not only did the Celtics secure a huge win, they made a statement. Oh you're up by 16 and have a guy on pace to score 60 points? Not anymore you're not. 

If I could describe this year's Celtics team in one word it would be relentless. These guys aren't going away anytime fast.

Photo: David Butler II/ USA Today Sports