Pacers coach Nate McMillan compares Kemba Walker to ‘rabbit’ while explaining key moment vs. Celtics
The Boston Celtics came into Bankers Life Fieldhouse as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and in the midst of a four-game win streak.
After outscoring the Indiana Pacers 37-23 in the third quarter and opening up 10-point leading going into the fourth, things weren’t looking great for the home team.
The Celtics were red hot behind star point guard Kemba Walker’s 39 points through three quarters. In the fourth, however, things changed. The Pacers turned up the defensive pressure and forced the Beantown team into sloppy turnovers and bad shots.
Walker would score just five points in the fourth quarter and even missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left. A big part of that was Pacers head coach Nate McMillan putting second-year guard Aaron Holiday on the three-time All-Star — whom he described as a “rabbit.”
“I thought Aaron could get into the ball a little bit more and we were talking about trapping a couple times . You’re talking about trying to catch a rabbit — and that’s hard to do,” McMillan said, per Scott Agnes of The Athletic.
Holiday, the 23rd pick in the 2018 draft, has played solid minutes as a backup point guard this season to Malcolm Brogdon.
In 21 minutes per game, the former UCLA product has put up 8.7 points and 2.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game and has made nine starts. Shooting just 39 percent, Holiday’s shot-making hasn’t been ideal, but he has shot well from beyond the arc and has played energetic defense for the Pacers.
With the win, Indiana moves to 16-9 on the season and just half a game behind the Toronto Raptors for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. Boston, on the other hand, slips to 17-6.