Ever since the All-Star break, the Boston Celtics have struggled to maintain any sort of consistency. Each time they pick up a solid win, they stumble. On Saturday night, this trend manifested itself by way of a brutal loss to the Utah Jazz.
The game came down to the final play, and while the possession was designed to get Jayson Tatum the ball, things fell apart. Grant Williams was forced to take the last look, but he missed. After the game, Tatum spoke about the play and Williams’ role.
“I mean, yeah. I ain’t got no ego or nothing like that,” Tatum said when asked if he cares whether or not he gets the ball at the end of the game via NBC Sports Boston. “I’m just trying to win. Joe can draw up a play for me, but there are other options. They were kind of denying me the ball, and the ball was in Grant’s hands. And he just had the option to go DHO to somebody else, go attack the basket. We have a baseline of what we try to do, but it’s all about the reaction. So, I don’t have an ego or anything. I wasn’t mad that Grant took that shot and didn’t pass it to me. It’s basketball. I want guys to play with instincts and just read the game.”
Tatum didn’t play particularly well against the Jazz. He finished the game with 15 points, three rebounds, and six assists on 4-of-12 shooting from the field and 3-of-8 shooting from behind the three-point line.
As for Williams, he put together a solid night. The Celtics forward put up 23 points, four rebounds, and two assists on 8-of-16 shooting from the floor and 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
Marcus Smart Name-Drops Damian Lillard
Prior to their loss in Utah, the Celtics picked up a win over the Portland Trail Blazers. After that game, Marcus Smart spoke about the team’s mentality, name-dropping Damian Lillard in the process.
“For us, it’s just moving on to the next play,” Smart said via NBC Sports Boston. “We got to have that short-term memory on both ends of the floor. I think a lot of times, we allow, because we didn’t make shots, [opponents’ made shots] to affect our defense. And then because our defense was lacking, we try to come and force another shot. Just having that short-term memory. If you’re open, shoot the ball. If you miss it, oh well, next play. You shoot it again, you get an open shot, you knock it down. And once we start thinking like that, I think that kind of took away a lot of the mishaps that we’ve been having. Those little walls where it just seems like we couldn’t score the ball nor get to stop. And like you said, Dame went off. We still were able to keep our poise and respond.”
Jayson Tatum Sounds Off After Trail Blazers Win
In addition, Tatum also had some words after Boston’s win over Portland, discussing what went right for the Celtics.
“I got that and-one. JB [Jaylen Brown] got a key layup,” Tatum said via NBC Sports Boston. “Al [Horford] hit some big threes. Smart got that steal. Just made some big plays, right? Got some big rebounds. So, we just responded, essentially.”