Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum in Game 4 fights
BOSTON – Jayson Tatum had an easy answer for the Boston Celtics to come back with a victory in the 5th NBA Finals on Monday night – they just need to play well.
“I mean, give it to me [the Golden State Warriors] debt, “said Tatum after defeating Boston 107-97 at Golden State in Game 4 at TD Garden on Friday night played the game 2-2.” It’s a great team. He is playing well. They have a game system, things like that.
“But it’s up to me. I have to do well. I know I’m improving the game in some way, but I have to do it well, shoot the ball well, finish well.
“I answer for the case.”
Tatum never played the way he made his own list. He shot 34% off the pitch, and despite winning the ball well in two Boston games, including 22 assists and four turns, has nine assists and 10 converts in their two losses.
Tatum, along with the rest of the Celtics, was shortened to the fourth quarter Friday night, making two shots in the final seven minutes. This allowed Golden State to close out the game with a run of 21-6, making the results in favor of the series.
“Obviously we felt like we set ourselves up to win the game,” said Tatum, who was 1-for-5 in the fourth round. “There are a lot of things we wish we could have done differently, especially in the end. I think we’re just about to get up late at four o’clock from everyone.”
It all, however, begins with Tatum, who received MVP honors in Eastern Conference files and is the face of the Celtics franchise. He has been portrayed as a different number from Warriors star Stephen Curry throughout his career, but in court Curry has been without a teammate.
This was the case in Game 4, when Curry had 43 points, 10 rebounds and four assists and controlled every second he was on the pitch. Tatum Night, meanwhile, was a symbol of Boston’s wrong decisions in many games. He had five players and was a major part of the team’s threat so far.
Asked if he was pushing himself too hard, Tatum said no and he should be fine.
“I think it’s as simple as that,” he said. “I have to be good. I know I can be good, so it’s not like me, myself or my team is asking me to do what I can’t. He knows the level and I know the level I can. Play on.
“It’s kind of like doing it more often than not helping my team as much as I can. It’s not that much of a challenge. It’s like my job.”
Asked what he has seen from Tatum so far in this series, Celtics coach Ime Udoka focused his search for mistakes instead of trying to finish through the link.
“Sometimes they just want mistakes,” Udoka said. “They’re a team that carries a certain game. He’s getting results, shooting two, three guys.
“It’s a continuous theme, so to speak. He’s getting to basketball, being a scorer and a player. They do a good job with their rotation. Sometimes they look for mistakes instead of finishing. I’ve seen them in a few games so far.”
Going forward, what the Celtics need to see is Tatum who has repeatedly appeared in big positions in these playoffs, such as his 46-point effort at Milwaukee in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals to avoid Giannis’ dismissal. Antetokounmpo is the Bucks defensive leader.
A similar performance in Game 5 in San Francisco on Monday night could allow Boston a chance to close out the series in Boston next Thursday at Game 6.
Tatum said he remains confident that he and the Celtics will return.
“We don’t do this s — intentionally,” Tatum said. “I promise we don’t. We’re trying our best. There are some things we need to clean up. Obviously, turning, moving on a frustrating end. We wish we had won today and been 3- 1? That would have been a very good experience.
“But with the Finals. The talent of the competition, he came here feeling like he had to win. It wasn’t easy.
“We know we all want it, and we have to go get it.”