How Ime Udoka’s Playing Days Helped Celtics In Game 4 Win Over Bucks

'I know a little bit about George'


May 10, 2022

The Celtics opted for some bully ball late in Monday night’s game at Fiserv Forum, and it paid off in spades for the visitors.

With Khris Middleton sidelined, a few players deeper in the Bucks’ rotation have been tasked with bigger roles in this Eastern Conference semifinals series. One of those players is George Hill, who returned to game action Saturday after a month-long hiatus.

The Celtics, and specifically Jayson Tatum, sought out Hill in the fourth quarter of Game 4. The 14th-year guard was no match for Boston’s franchise cornerstone, whose 12 points in the final frame helped lead the C’s to a series-tying win.

Ime Udoka knew the mismatch was there for the Celtics. That stemmed from knowledge the Boston head coach gained over a decade ago when he and Hill were teammates with the Spurs.

“Yeah, I think Jay had it going in different ways,” Udoka told reporters. “We know the guys that switch for their team. The guys that hedge and they try to keep off and George is a guy that’s in the (Wesley) Matthews, (Jrue) Holiday group that they’ll switch everything. I played with George as a rookie in San Antonio, so I know a little bit about George. Tried to take advantage of that.”

Hill wasn’t the only Bucks guard who was exposed Monday night, as Holiday (-23) and Grayson Allen (-10) also struggled defensively. It feels safe to assume Tatum and company will try to feast on Milwaukee’s frontcourt players Wednesday night when the sides collide for Game 5 at TD Garden.

Thumbnail photo via Michael McLoone/USA TODAY Sports Images
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