Tatum on Game 4 struggles: ‘I got to be better’

NBA

BOSTON — Jayson Tatum had a easy resolution for the Boston Celtics to bounce again with a win in Recreation 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night time — he simply must play higher.

“I imply, I give [the Golden State Warriors] credit score,” Tatum stated after Boston’s 107-97 loss to Golden State in Recreation 4 at TD Backyard on Friday night time knotted the sequence at 2-2. “They’re an amazing crew. They’re enjoying nicely. They acquired a recreation plan, issues like that.

“Nevertheless it’s on me. I acquired to be higher. I do know I am impacting the sport in different methods, however I acquired to be extra environment friendly, shoot the ball higher, end on the rim higher.

“I take accountability for that.”

Tatum has not performed to the usual he has set for himself on this sequence. He’s taking pictures 34% from the sphere, and though he has handed the ball superbly in Boston’s two wins, compiling 22 assists and 4 turnovers, he has 9 assists and 10 turnovers of their two losses.

Tatum, together with the remainder of the Celtics, short-circuited within the fourth quarter Friday night time, making simply two photographs over the ultimate seven minutes. That allowed Golden State to shut the sport with a 21-6 run, flipping the result in its favor to even the sequence.

“We clearly felt like we put ourselves within the place to win the sport,” stated Tatum, who was 1-for-5 within the fourth quarter. “There’s quite a lot of issues we want we might have performed in another way, particularly on the offensive finish. I believe we simply acquired manner too stagnant late within the fourth from everyone.”

All of that, nevertheless, begins with Tatum, who earned MVP honors within the Jap Convention finals and is the face of the Celtics franchise. He has been proven as the other variety of Warriors star Stephen Curry all through this sequence, however on the court docket Curry has been peerless.

That was definitely the case in Recreation 4, when Curry had 43 factors, 10 rebounds and 4 assists and dominated each second he was on the court docket. Tatum’s night time, in the meantime, was emblematic of Boston’s poor decision-making for a lot of the sport. He had 5 turnovers and was an enormous a part of the crew’s stagnant offense down the stretch.

Requested if he’s placing an excessive amount of strain on himself, Tatum stated no and that he simply must be higher.

“I believe that is simply so simple as it’s,” he stated. “I simply acquired to be higher. I do know I will be higher, so it isn’t like I, myself or my crew is asking me to do one thing I am not able to. They know the extent and I do know the extent that I can play at.

“It is sort of on me to do this most of the time simply to assist my crew in one of the simplest ways that I can. It is not an excessive amount of strain in any respect. It is sort of like my job.”

When requested what he has seen from Tatum to this point on this sequence, Celtics coach Ime Udoka pointed to his looking for fouls as a substitute of making an attempt to complete by way of contact.

“At instances he is searching for fouls,” Udoka stated. “They’re a crew that hundreds up in sure video games. He is discovering the shops. Taking pictures over two, three guys. That is the stability of being aggressive and selecting your spots and doing what he is performed in earlier video games, which is kicked it out and acquired wide-open appears.

“That is the continuing theme, so to talk. Him attending to the basket, being a scorer in addition to a playmaker. They do job with their rotations. Typically searching fouls as a substitute of going to complete. I’ve seen that in a number of video games to this point.”

Shifting ahead, what the Celtics must see is the Tatum who confirmed up time and time once more in large spots earlier in these playoffs, similar to his 46-point effort in Milwaukee in Recreation 6 of the Jap Convention semifinals to stave off elimination in opposition to Giannis Antetokounmpo and the defending champion Bucks.

An identical efficiency in Recreation 5 in San Francisco on Monday night time may enable Boston an opportunity to shut this sequence out again in Boston subsequent Thursday in Recreation 6.

Tatum stated he stays assured he and the Celtics can bounce again.

“We do not do that s— on goal,” Tatum stated. “I promise you we do not. We’re making an attempt as onerous as we will. There’s sure issues we acquired to scrub up. Clearly turnovers, motion on the offensive finish. Would now we have preferred to have gained immediately and be up 3-1? That may have been best-case situation.

“Nevertheless it’s the Finals. The artwork of competitors, they got here right here feeling like they needed to win. It wasn’t simple. I believe that is sort of the fantastic thing about it, that it isn’t going to be simple. It should not be.

“We all know we each need it, and we acquired to go take it.”

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