Marcus Smart fined $15,000 for comments about officiating

Though he undoubtedly saw it coming, Marcus Smart was fined $15,000 for his comments about officiating after the Celtics’ loss to Milwaukee.

After initially drawing a charge on Giannis Antetokounmpo with 1:28 left, apparently fouling the Bucks star out of the game with the score tied, the call was overturned upon review.

Smart later matter-of-factly said, ““Wish we got a better (explanation from officials), but the excuse was I was late on the charge. They said the replay center said that I was late and it was a block. Quite frankly I think we all know what that was about; Giannis’ sixth foul and they didn’t want to get him out. Let’s just call that spade a spade and that’s what it is.”

Smart, no stranger to the NBA’s discipline wing, was a little lighter in the pocket by Saturday night.

Bubble perspective

The Celtics have less room to escape from their jobs than usual in the Orlando bubble.

They live in a Groundhog Day rotation that shuttles between basketball courts and hotels. But according to Brad Stevens, escape and perspective go hand-in-hand when recovering from a loss like the one Friday night to Milwaukee.

“We all have perspective here. We all played really hard and really well against one of the best teams in the NBA,” said the Celtics coach. “We just didn’t play well enough. So we have to play a little bit better. They had a guy or two missing, we had a guy on a minutes restriction. Jayson (Tatum) didn’t have the night that he normally has. It all plays a part in it. We had a chance, we came up short, we’re gonna move on, like we always do.

“Does it make it harder because of the circumstances we’re all in? I don’t know,” said Stevens. “One of the things we have is reasonable perspective on everything we need to do, and what we need to do to be the best version of ourselves. It’s always hard to lose, dinner always tastes better when you win. But at the end of the day we will move on and try to improve on it and move from there.”

Moment of reflection

Tatum, who spoke last week of wanting to memorialize Michael Brown, the Ferguson, Missouri, 18-year-old killed by a police officer in 2014, was proud to take a knee with the rest of the Celtics and Bucks players and coaches during the national anthem Friday night.

“Yeah, it was special just to see the NBA and players and teams come together and stand for something and being unified,” he said. “I think that’s a main reason why we’re here, is to use our platform individually and as a collective.”

Kemba update

The Celtics only went through a light practice Satuday, with Kemba Walker taking part in it all. According to Stevens, his point guard, under a minutes restriction, responded well after a 19-minute stint against the Bucks.

Stevens noted that Walker’s restriction, currently between 14 and 20 minutes a night, will slowly be increased. He was held out of the fourth quarter against the Bucks, and is not expected to play a normal minutes load until the playoffs.

“We just kind of jogged through walkthrough (Saturday), did a little skill work, so it wasn’t a heavy practice, obviously, with a 3:30 game (Sunday),” said Stevens. “But he was great, responded well, and he will incrementally increase his limit.”

Still fighting

The one group that went hard Saturday were those who didn’t get in Friday night — namely the Celtics rookies who figure to be left out as Stevens shortens his rotation. Even Grant Williams played only four minutes against Milwaukee.

“The group of people I will always be most worried about here in the bubble is the same group I’m worried about when we’re at home — the guys that don’t play,” said Stevens. “We had a bunch of guys who weren’t active (Friday) night because you only have 13 active spots you’re allowed to dress. I credit their spirit. They’re in there playing four-on-four right now. I think that is why it’s important for all of us to invest in each other, instead of focusing on whatever result occurred.”

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