Luka Doncic seemed destined to take the dagger 3-pointer with the Boston Celtics pulling ahead late in the game on Saturday.
And with a foul to give, the Celtics essentially let Doncic take his signature shot, as Marcus Smart got called and gave the Dallas Mavericks the final possession of the game with 11.4 seconds on the clock.
That was not part of the plan laid out after the Mavericks took a full timeout just before that, Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said after the 107-104 loss.
“There was no strategy,” Udoka said after the loss. “It was not supposed to be a foul — a few of the guys asked me coming out of the timeout. I let them know, and just a mistake there, but that’s on me. I gotta let everybody know and make sure they know. Obviously, a 5-6 second differential, we want that last shot so I gotta communicate that to everybody so everybody knows.”
Certainly, the entire team needs to be on the same page there.
It followed up a pretty disastrous final 30 seconds for Smart at the end of the game, which will linger over a good performance otherwise.
He gave Boston its first lead of the game with a 3-pointer of his own with just over 2 minutes left. He and Dennis Schröder led the team in assists (each with six), and his facilitating was crucial in the offense getting things going.
But not a great look after emotionally calling out the team’s offensive strategy last week — even if his comments were warranted.