Jalen Brunson Issues Statement on Celtics After Besting Them in New York

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Getty Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

In what was arguably their worst performance of the season, the Boston Celtics fell to defeat against the New York Knicks on Monday, February 27.

When speaking to the media following the contest, Knicks guard Jalen Brunson was candid in his assessment of what went wrong for the Celtics throughout the game.

“They missed shots. Obviously, they missed shots. But we just kept fighting, sticking together, we just kept talking,” Brunson said.

The Celtics went 9-of-42 from deep during their contest against the Knicks, giving the team as a whole a paltry conversion rate of 21.4%, a fact that was made even worse by three-point attempts making up 50% of their entire shot selection.

With this loss, the Celtics have fallen out of the Eastern Conference’s top spot and now sit second in the standings, but still have a four-game cushion over the third-placed Philadelphia 76ers.

Tom Thibodeau Sounds Off on Jayson Tatum

Midway through the fourth quarter, Jayson Tatum was ejected from the game due to a sarcastic remark aimed at the game officials. In fairness, Tatum had been struggling throughout the contest, shooting just 11.1% from behind the arc.

During his post-game press conference, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau chose to look beyond Tatum’s struggles and instead, heaped praise on the All-Star wing.

“He’s an incredible player,” Thibodeau said. “So, I thought, when you play a guy like that, you’re just trying to make him work as much as you can, knowing you can guard him perfectly, and he can make [shots]. And he’s had big games against us. So, some of it was, he missed shots that he normally makes, but I thought we had an awareness as a team as to where he was, and we tried to make him work on every possession. That was probably the only thing. The thing about him – he can beat you [in] so many different ways. He can beat you off the dribble, he can beat you with a shot, he can beat you in the post, he can beat you with the pass.”

Tatum has been among the best players in the NBA this season, so, it spoke volumes that on a night when he struggled from all areas of the floor, Thibodeau chose to praise his qualities rather than point out the issues he faced throughout the night.

Tatum Still Dealing With Wrist Injury

During Boston’s February 23 victory over the Indiana Pacers, Tatum took a hard fall, landing on the same wrist that he’s been nursing since midway through last season. During his post-game press conference, the St. Louis Native gave an update on the status of his lingering injury.

“That was scary. They always teach you not to put your hand out, but it was so quick. You guys probably saw I jumped up so quick because I was, like, I was scared. And I was, just, moving my hand, because that’s the one that’s been bothering me for a year now, and falling right on it, I was really, just, really just like trying to see if I could open and close, if I had strength, and it was painful for 5-10 minutes, but got it looked at, and I mean, it’s sore, but I’ll be alright,” Tatum said.

There’s no telling if Tatum’s wrist has played a part in his poor performances since that night, but Celtics fans will be hoping that he can snap out of his current funk and rediscover the form that saw him dominate opponents for the majority of the current season.