Sport It's Time For Jayson Tatum to Step Up or the Boston Celtics are Done
Comeback Heat do it again, rally past Celtics for 2-0 lead
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Down by 14 in Game 1, the Miami Heat found a way. © APWF Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) celebrates after sinking a basket against the Boston Celtics during the second half of an NBA conference final playoff basketball game, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Down by 17 in Game 2, they did it again Thursday night. And after making the Boston Celtics lose another big lead on the court - as well as their cool in the postgame locker room - the unheralded Heat are two wins away from the NBA Finals.
Theare staring down an 0-2 deficit in the Eastern Conference Finals and it's pretty clear what they need to do to get back in the series. Give the ball and let him cook. I'm not saying he needs to go full hero ball, but he needs to get aggressive and become the superstar he's supposed to be.
On Thursday night Tatum took just 12 field goal attempts. He only attempted two shots in the fourth quarter. One resulted in three free throws and the other was a dunk to give the Celtics the lead with 4:57 left in the game. He did not record another statistic during the final four-plus minutes.
Report: Brad Stevens held meeting with Celtics leaders to clear air
The Celtics choked away a 17-point lead in Game 2 after blowing a 14-point lead in Game 1, so you can understand why tensions were high. Smart is the emotional leader of the team, and he and Brown reportedly needed to be separated in the locker room.If the Celtics can harness their anger in Game 3, they still have a chance in the series. The ugly locker room scene shows how much they care about winning.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.
Tatum's 12 attempts were his lowest total of the playoffs. He only took 12 or fewer shots three times during the entire season. Two of those were back-to-back games early in the restart. Kemba Walker (19), Jaylen Brown (14) and(13) all took more shots than Tatum did on Thursday. Meanwhile, Tatum was the most effective shooter against the Miami Heat's zone defense this season.
Celtics' Shooting Numbers Vs. Miami Zone Defense, 2019-20
Kemba Waker ... 5 of 19
Jaylen Brown .... 6 of 17
Marcus Smart ... 4 of 16
Semi Ojeleye ....... 2 of 9
Jayson Tatum ..... 4 of 9— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry)
Tatum was an All-Star for the first time this season. He averaged career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. He shot 40 percent from 3-point range on more than seven attempts per game. He is the Celtics' best player and he's leading the league in minutes per game during the playoffs.
Report: Celtics' Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown had 'heated confrontation' after Game 2 loss
Smart and Brown also reportedly threw things around the locker room in their frustration. No physical altercation took place as teammates stepped in to settle things down. Charania also reports that Smart had exchanges with a few assistant coaches during the game. The 26-year-old's frustrations probably stemmed from the fact that the Celtics are playing selfish offensively, which Kendrick Perkins alluded to on ESPN's "Get Up." The Celtics had 20 turnovers against just 19 assists.
Tatum struggled during the fourth quarter and overtime of Game 1, but it's safe to say the Celtics wouldn't have been in a position to blow that game without the 23 points he scored in the first three quarters. If the Celtics are going to come back in this series, Tatum is the key. He's the star. The other guys need to pitch it, not carry the load.
It's a lot to ask a 22 year old to do, but it's not impossible.carried Larry Hughes and Sasha Pavlovic to the Finals at 22. Kobe Bryant won his second ring when he was 22. That's who Tatum is supposed to be for Boston. So he better get those shots up.
Video: Celtics Blow a 17-point lead (SMG)
Channing Tatum Posts Shirtless Selfie and Declares He's 'Finally Back' .
The actor split from Jenna Dewan in 2018.Alongside the black-and-white pic, Tatum wrote about his "long road back" following his 2018 divorce from Jenna Dewan. The former couple share a 7-year-old daughter, Everly, and Dewan recently welcomed a second child, 6-month-old Callum, with her fiancé, Steve Kazee.