In the aftermath of the Boston Celtics’ sloppy performance against MVP candidate Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers, All-Star Jayson Tatum is bearing the brunt of frustration spewing from local and national NBA analysts.
ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins technically kicked things off when he called Tatum out by name moments after the Celtics’ 106-96 loss against the Sixers. The 2008 NBA champion accused Jayson of displaying bad body language while questioning Tatum’s ability to rise to the occasion when his team needs him most.
“Jayson Tatum, you got paid the big bucks!” Perkins said via Twitter. “You have the body language and energy of an underpaid player and it’s hurtin the team. Time to step up and live up to your role, straight up.”
Jayson Tatum, you got paid the big bucks! You have the body language and energy level of an underpaid player and it’s hurtin the team. Time to step up and live up to your role, straight up. Carry on…
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) April 7, 2021
WEEI’s Gary Tanguay: ‘Tatum Does Not Want To Be Here’
However, WEEI’s Gary Tanguay took things a step further after the Celtics’ embarrassing loss, where Boston committed 20 turnovers and was fortunate enough that the Sixers didn’t slaughter them by 20+ points. By Tanguay’s estimation — which is seen through the same lens Perk used to reach his conclusion on what’s plaguing the Celtics — Tatum looks very unhappy.
“It is obvious that Tatum does not want to be here,” Tanguay posted via Twitter.
It is obvious that Tatum does not want to here.
— Gary Tanguay (@Gary_Tanguay) April 7, 2021
Most Celtics fans disagreed with Gary’s bold proclamation but according to Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, these mistakes are fixable.
“We need to do a better job of moving, cutting, getting better baskets,” Stevens said after Tuesday’s loss. “You can’t beat these guys in isolation and they are very good pick-and-roll defenders because they are so long. They chase you off the screen.”
Celtics’ Robert Williams Can’t Stay on The Floor Vs. Sixers
Boston’s center Robert Williams was a big loss for the Celtics. Williams picked up his second foul midway through the opening frame.
But when Stevens turned back to his starting center to close out the first quarter, Rob picked up a third personal foul. After that, Brad was very thin at the 5.
That’s a tough predicament to be in against the likes of superstar Joel Embiid. Considering backup center Tristan Thompson (health & safety protocol) was ruled out, Stevens was forced to go with Grant Williams, Luke Kornet, and Tacko Fall for extended runs throughout the first half.
Celtics’ Brad Stevens: ‘Don’t Think We Hit Our Bigs Enough To Cut’
Williams was reinserted after halftime but picked up his fourth foul just a few minutes in. He never found his stride.
“I just don’t think we hit our bigs enough to cut,” Stevens explained. “That’s just what we want to be. We did have to play some unique lineups just because of how much in foul trouble we were and how dominant (Joel) Embiid was.”
Now, on the second night of a back-to-back set, the Celtics will look to return to .500 with potential a win against the New York Knicks, Wednesday night at TD Garden.