Sports

2022 NBA Finals: Jayson Tatum’s famous play helps the Celtics steal Game 1, putting the Warriors behind

When Boston Celtics hired Ime Udoka as their head coach last summer, he wasted no time in setting the hopes of the team’s players, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. When interviewed by “Jalen & Jacoby” in August, he placed the two burdens so that everyone around them could be safe.

“We have a number of assistants. We have a number of players,” said Udoka. “That’s the place we should see growing up with Jaylen and Jayson. It’s not just about basketball. They’re the guys who cause mistakes and become good athletes. This is the next step in their evolution.”

Easier said than done, of course, and the season was not always a success. But Udoka had a vision of what this team would look like when the duo fully embraced their playing skills; lived again Thursday night. Tatum went 3-of-17 off the field, and the pair combined for just 36 points, yet the Celtics won the final game on the road by two numbers.

Although a few months ago it would not have been possible, but instead of using the hero’s ball or getting frustrated and trying to play in the crowd, Tatum and Brown took what the defense provided and made the right game from time to time. Together they contributed more (18) than the baskets made (13) and only turned six.

Brown was impressive in the fourth quarter as he led the Celtics’ return. With Tatum’s shot leaving him, Brown took over and either scored or assisted 20 of their first 23 points. The Celtics will not win if they do not put the team behind them for the first six minutes.

But not trying to get rid of the Brown heroes, as Tatum opted for the A Warriors defense and had a huge impact on the game despite not playing very well in the playoffs was a very encouraging part for the Celtics.

Tatum is the one who will have the ball in his hands most of the time, and Tatum is the one the Warriors are plotting to stop. It’s up to him to set the tone, and he did the same in Game 1. You don’t make a shot every night, but you can control your way; Tatum was right on the payroll Thursday. His 13 assistants were top performers, and great for every player in their final games.

“Yeah, I think it was like [Udoka’s] message from day one, that he challenged me to be the best player I could be and to improve some aspects of my game, “said Tatum.” I can change.

Tatum attracted a lot of interest in Game 1. The Warriors were watching him closely on the ball, and when he found it in his hands, all eyes were on him. If they were looking to drive a car, the auxiliary assistants were quickly shaken. Instead of forcing his action, Tatum brazenly used the Armed Forces to overtake them quickly.

He did not sit in the crowd, and he only turned around twice because he had taken off the ball before the defense was over. Instead, the time he was going through was so sharp that he often caught the Warriors defenders with their weight and strength moving towards him, without giving them a chance to come back.

Here is a good example from the end of the first term. Tatum comes out of the window and takes Steph Curry on the switch, so the Warriors are alert to help. Otto Porter Jr. naturally he moves down to the paint to try and cut the car, but Tatum reads this and passes by immediately. The ball is already in the air as Porter tries to settle down, and that gives the Celtics a chance. Pritchard attacks Porter’s approach late, with a move from Grant Williams who can now attack near Andre Iguodala (which was a bit worse), and suddenly Derrick White has 3 openings.

Tatum no longer gets the help of hockey for that one, but his willingness to move the ball and make a game worth paying for.

The same goes for the second part. This time, Tatum comes out of the window and heads up to Jordan Poole, so Draymond Green and Iguodala pass. Tatum recognizes the danger and immediately kicks the ball in the corner before hitting the paint, removing all defenders from the game. Daniel Theis was left alone and placed 3.

Let’s look at another example, this time from the third section. Once again, pick-and-roll gives Tatum a chance to attack Looney. He rides her to the start, and Green is about to cut the car off. Except, there will be no driving because Tatum has already thrown the ball to Marcus Smart. The Warriors are left staring, and Al Horford climbs with a 3rd habit from the corner.

“All year long before this happened, we have been planning and preparing for Jayson these times when the teams love you so much that they try to get you out of the game,” said Smart. “You have to make a play and touch the game in different ways. Tonight he had 13 assistants. We’ve been preaching this all year. He’s been doing a lot.”

Turning Tatum into a solid player has been a odyssey for the year for the Udoka and the Celtics, and hard work was rewarded in Game 1. The list is far from over, but the boundaries have changed for the Celtics alliance, in particular. because of Tatum’s ability to correct the error even without scoring.

In addition to the 1-0 lead – the team that won Game 1 won the Finals 71 percent of the time – and robbed the house, the Celtics put the Warriors behind them and forced them to respond. Now, the Warriors have to decide if they want to stay or change the way they protect Tatum.

Does he continue to show any kind of support and try to get the other players to beat them? Probably, but the Celtics are shooting 40 percent on open 3s (defender very close to six feet) and 37.9 percent on open 3s (about 4 to 6 meters) in the playoffs. Their 37.8 percent teams out of 3 are both second to Mavericks during the postseason, and have made 20-plus 3s four times in 19 games. Sure, maybe Al Horford and Derrick White are no longer 11, but they could be if you continue to leave them open.

Or does the Warriors stay home from the Celtics shooting and let Tatum, who has done well become one of the best in the league, have more space? Dangerous thoughts considering that even though Tatum likes to be cold at times, as he did in Game 1, he always comes back. In the first three rounds, Tatum failed to reach 20 points three times. In the matches played, he scored 33.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists.

Either way, the responsibility now lies with the Warriors to make a difficult decision. Tatum showed in Game 1 that he would be ready for whatever he wanted.

“His play has gotten a little better. Tonight it was smart,” Horford said. “Disappointment didn’t go well for him, but he got guys. He reads safety. It just shows how big he is. Even since the beginning of the year, he’s still getting better. He’s the kind of person who can imagine it. In other words, he thinks about it.

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