Marcus Smart's return ignites Celtics' 'D' in critical Game 5 win

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum score 2nd most points of any under-22 playoff duo in NBA history

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum score 2nd most points of any under-22 playoff duo in NBA history

As for the Celtics, they're back in Boston to get ready to host the Bucks on Tuesday night for Game 5.

He out-wrestled two Bucks, rolled to his side, and hit Al Horford for what proved to be the game-clinching dunk.

When you take into account the depth issues created by injuries, it won't just be on defense where the Celtics feel an immediate impact with Smart.

BC-BKN-Celtics-Smart, 133Celtics' Smart active for Game 5 against BucksEds: APNewsNow.

It was a hard-fought game, with both teams knowing what was on the line.

Rozier has been superb and has more than shown he is capable of being the starter and primary ball handler.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens commented on Antetokounmpo, saying that it's impossible to completely shut him down. With Smart out, Terry Rozier has been starting with Kyrie Irving ruled out for the playoffs following his second knee surgery. Antetokounmpo has made 44 of 71 shots (62.0 percent) and Middleton 40 of 65 (61.5 percent). Smart says that last nights win was big for the team and that their confidence is back to being high. But because he missed, the Celtics were able to benefit from it. Makes flawless sense, right?

"Obviously", Stevens said, "we're better with Marcus Smart". "They weren't taking it from me". They then got face-to-face and had to be separated.

When he first comes back, it will be too early for Smart to start. It makes it a lot easier for us guards to get in the paint and find guys or create our own shot.

Once Smart is able to establish something that Stevens can trust, I would expect him to start the defensive standout. In fact, the Bucks didn't get much of an explanation at all. The Bucks were blown out, and trailed Boston 0-2 in the series. He also barely played during the first two games of the playoffs. You're not going to hold him down by any means.

As evidenced by Smart's ability to get a pass to Horford for an 86-79 lead with 28.1 seconds left, despite falling to the floor against a Bucks trap, the guard returned with his playmaking ability intact.

It takes a complete team effort to do that on defense, but the Celtics do not get a complete team effort without Smart, who brings everything together on defense and makes the kind of plays that can not be done without him. "It brings something out of you - just an extra ounce of competitiveness and intensity".

Marcus Smart's return is a game changer.

. The Celtics consistently needed that little bit of extra to push them over the top, and often it was Smart who gave it to them.

The 21-year-old Brown and the 20-year-old Tatum both looked like National Basketball Association playoff-seasoned vets in Southern Wisconsin on Sunday as they not only rescued the C's from being blown out but also sparked one of the top comebacks in recent playoff history.

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