Ime Udoka’s Celtics finally got their chance to lock Patty Mills up, but failed – The Athletic

It was a moment of celebration for Kevin Durant. The just-anointed Olympic gold medalist was standing on the court in Tokyo with his phone running Instagram Live in his right hand, his left draped over future teammate Patty Mills’ shoulder.

After Durant yelled, “There’s going to be problems for the Boston Celtics this year, I’m telling you!” he panned the camera to their recently hired new coach, Ime Udoka.

“We know how to lock Patty ass up,” Udoka said with a smirk.

Udoka knows Mills as well as anyone in the league. They played together. He coached the Australian guard for years. He knew you can’t give him an inch of room to get a shot off, that you had to close out hard to him and run him off the line. If you don’t make him put the ball on the floor every time he touches it, he can torch you.

So when Mills hit seven 3s and LaMarcus Aldridge, another guy Udoka has been around for a decade-plus, scored all night, a team that was as lackluster as the Celtics were Wednesday night in their 123-104 loss to Brooklyn doesn’t stand much of a chance.

“Obviously, been around those guys forever, so I know them well. I’m not gonna take it personally as far as that,” he said. “Just, you do get frustrated when the game plan doesn’t follow for particular guys. Like I mentioned, if (Mills) gets four open 3s with only one dribble, that’s a lack of understanding who he is and he’s been around long enough for us to know that.

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