Marcus Smart dropped in the third quarter, and it looked bad. The Celtic guards were shouting and screaming on the floor; The replay shows that he rolled his ankle while descending from a rebound attempt, and Kyle Lori’s big ass accidentally fell to his feet. The C’s were already down 13 points and they had just lost the heart of their defense. The Miami Heat was the ideal area to win a Game 3 Road.
But then, just a few minutes later – what could it be? Is that Marcus Smart coming out of the locker room, and jogging out of the tunnel as the Boston crowd goes wild? Incredible!
Smart is a player who takes charge and builds his bones by embellishing communication, but it certainly wasn’t a flop. From personal experience, it is possible to roll your ankle before the swelling worsens and roll it over in the next minute. It would be prudent to keep the game going, as it would be really easy to escalate the injury, but when you are an NBA player, with that ability of the training staff, you must have access to NBA-level recovery strategies. Smart didn’t just come back from the bench to cheer on his team. He came to play:
Frog! Miami leads down to 10! This is the Paul Pierce moment of the 2021-22 Celtics! Their stomachs are bad in the heat! They can’t stop this energy!
Um, of course, yes, I know this, why it’s something known in advance. Marcus Smart had noise in his ankle and he clearly could not run or take the ball on the court. The fourth quarter was underway, and the hits still led the double digits. They were doing it without Jimmy Butler, who left at halftime with a knee injury. But – hey no! In the middle of the fourth lane, Jason Tatum was now lying on the floor in agony. Arriving to recover his turnover caused by Victor Oladipo, he hit his shoulder:
The Celtics fell to nine; If Tatum is seriously injured, this series could be over. He is fundamental to the success of this team. But – hold on, is this Jason Tatum’s music?
Another Paul Pierce moment! The roof is shaking! Hit head coach Eric Spoilstra almost snows across his clipboard! God bless the Boston Celtics! They are the most talented fighters in the world! With 2:40 left in the game, Miami’s lead has dropped to four, and after Jillian Brown’s three, it’s down to one!
… And then Max Strauss responded with a three-pointer and turnover — the factor that drove the Celtics throughout the game, causing them to find themselves in an early deficit ধ্ব destroying Boston from ever completing a comeback. The Hit Game 3, took 109-103. Miami’s relentless defense has collected a total of 19 thefts, a franchise play-off record, and forced a total of 24 turnovers. In reality, the dramatic return of Smart and Tatum was good for boosting morale, but nothing else; Also in reality, Tatum had -14 shots for 3 and six TOs from the field. If the Celtics want to take Game 4, they should try three Paul Pierce Moments.