After a long regular season and a treacherous postseason run, the Boston Celtics’ 2022 season has come to an end. The Golden State Warriors won Game 6 by a score of 103-90, claiming their fourth NBA Championship since 2015.
Jayson Tatum struggled in Game 6, posting just 13 points, as the Celtics stumbled their way to their third loss in a row. As was the case throughout the playoffs, turnover problems and defensive rebounding issues proved to be Boston’s weak points in their final game of the season.
During his postgame press conference, Celtics point guard Marcus Smart spoke about the team’s mindset moving forward and the hunger they will feel next year and beyond.
“We’ve seen what we’re capable of. We got a taste of it. We wanted the whole thing. I know for a fact that we’re going to be back a different team. We’re going to put in the work, but this one’s going to hurt,” Smart stated.
Smart put up nine points, six rebounds, nine assists and two steals in Game 6 on 4-of-12 shooting from the field and 1-of-2 shooting from behind the 3-point line.
This was Boston’s first trip to the Finals since 2010, and now that they know they have what it takes, they’ll be fiending to make it back again next season.
Smart’s teammate Jayson Tatum echoed his thoughts after the game, stating that Boston needs to improve next year if they want to win it all.
Tatum Says Celtics Need to ‘Take It up Another Level’
The Celtics superstar, who did his postgame press conference alongside Smart, said that Boston needs to take things up a notch next year. He said that it’s hard to get over the hump and that the Celtics need to keep pushing.
“It’s hard. It’s hard getting to this point and it’s even harder getting over the hump and winning. … We’ve gotta take it up another level to do what we need to do,” Tatum said.
Tatum ended Game 6 with a rather disappointing statline. He dropped 13 points, three rebounds and seven assists on 6-of-18 shooting from the floor and 1-of-4 shooting from behind the 3-point arc.
In addition to his comments on the game, Smart also sounded off on the doubters who hated on the Celtics all year long.
Smart on Doubters: ‘We Gotta Use That’
The Defensive Player of the Year sent a message to all the people who doubted Boston en route to their Finals appearance. He said that Boston needs to continue to use that doubt as motivation.
“Nobody even had us being here, let alone in the playoffs … we’ve been through hell to get here. We’ve got to use that. It’s going to be tough … proud of this team, we didn’t accomplish our goal, but a lot of people, and a lot of you I’m sure, counted us out,” Smart said.
Boston was a below-.500 basketball team midway through January but climbed all the way to a 51-31 regular season record. The Celtics finished the year as the second seed in the Eastern Conference and battled all the way to the NBA Finals. While they came up short, they most certainly surpassed the expectations most people set for them.