Udoka blames C's Game 5 meltdown on this alarming stat originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Celtics had the Milwaukee Bucks right where they wanted them late in Wednesday night's Game 5. They held a 14-point lead with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
It was all downhill from there.
Milwaukee chipped away at Boston's lead and pulled ahead with Bobby Portis' putback on Giannis Antetokounmpo's missed free throw. Jrue Holiday sealed the Bucks' 110-107 win with a couple of defensive gems against Marcus Smart.
Plenty went wrong for the Celtics late in the fourth quarter, but one particular area sticks out to head coach Ime Udoka.
"Offensive rebounds," Udoka said after the C's loss. "The story of the game. They had 17 for 20 second-chance points and a large majority of those came in the second half. They only had six in the first half so we were doing a good job as far as that.
"To give up 14, especially on those specific plays where they got kick-out 3s -- some were long rebounds so they were a little bit tougher. But we gotta find bodies on those and then the free throw one stands out.
The Bucks dominated the Celtics on the offensive boards, 17-5. They did the same in Game 4 with 13 offensive rebounds to Boston's four. The common denominator? Robert Williams' absence.
Williams missed both games due to lingering soreness in his surgically-repaired left knee. Udoka said prior to Game 5 the team was being "overly cautious" with the big man.
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That cautious approach makes sense for the long-term, but it may have cost the C's on Wednesday night. They'll hope to have Time Lord back in the mix in a do-or-die Game 6 Friday night in Milwaukee.