NBA Champion Questions Ime Udoka’s Handling of Celtics Star

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Getty Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Yet again, the Boston Celtics failed to follow up a convincing win with back-to-back victories, falling to the Golden State Warriors 107-97 on June 10.

In what was a close game, the Warriors upped their intensity down the stretch, pulling away in the final five minutes, and building a double-digit cushion to produce a flattering score line.

Unfortunately for the Celtics, Jayson Tatum is yet to find his rhythm in this series, and continued to struggle from the field, shooting just 8-of-23, most of which were poorly selected jumpers or isolation drives gone awry. Interestingly, the deeper Boston got into the fourth quarter, the less Tatum had the ball in his hands.

Perhaps Tatum playing off-ball was by design, or maybe Jaylen Brown’s scoring exploits made him a stronger candidate to close the game out, either way, Tatum’s limited involvement at the point of attack was telling. Ime Udoka isn’t afraid of making the tough decisions, we’ve seen him do it throughout the season, but placing Tatum off-ball certainly took some character.

However, while Udoka’s tactical move made sense, it did draw some bafflement among spectators, even prompting NBA Champion Bobby Portis to tweet about it, urging Boston to put the ball in the hands of their star player.

Portis has seen what Tatum is capable of during this current post-season run, having matched up against him for stretches during the Eastern Conference second round, where the Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games.


Browing Looking Forward to Tatum’s Growth

A common theme with this Celtics team after a loss is that they consistently discuss watching more film, and learning how to play their roles better because of it. After every loss in the playoffs, the Celtics always seem to come into their next game re-invigorated, with a clear understanding of what needs to be done, and how to achieve it.

So, the additional film work must be paying dividends. Following Tatum’s disjointed game four performance, Brown spoke about the team’s need for Tatum to be aggressive, and how watching some additional film could potentially facilitate that.


Jaylen Brown: "We know where we’re at right now. We know this is the NBA Finals." | Celtics PostgameBOSTON, MA — Jaylen Brown was interviewed after Boston's 107-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals on Friday night. The 2022 NBA Finals is now tied at 2-2. —————————————– – #celtics #NBA #CelticsCLNS The CLNS Media Network is the leading provider for video/audio content. CLNS is a…2022-06-11T05:40:01Z

“Just get more organized. Watch film, try to find spots to be aggressive. Trying to see where our best looks are. At times, in moments we need most, we rely on Jayson to be aggressive. We have to help him out by being in position to be spaced and successful. We’ll watch the film, and use it as an opportunity to get better. I’m looking forward to that,” Brown told reporters on June 10.


Tatum Takes Accountability

At 24-years-old, Tatum has a lot of pressure on his shoulders, but that’s what happens when you’re the best player on a championship-caliber team, and that pressure only intensifies when you’re playing in the NBA Finals. However, the St. Louis native has not looked for excuses during his current downswing, instead, he’s been open and honest, taking accountability for his poor form.


Jayson Tatum: "It's on me. I've got to be better." | Celtics Game 4 PostgameBOSTON, MA — Jayson Tatum was interviewed after Boston's 107-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals on Friday night. The 2022 NBA Finals is now tied at 2-2. —————————————– – #celtics #NBA #CelticsCLNS The CLNS Media Network is the leading provider for video/audio content. CLNS is a…2022-06-11T05:27:09Z

“It’s on me. I got to be better. I know I’m impacting the game in other ways, but I got to be more efficient, shoot the ball better, and finish at the rim better. I take accountability for that. I just look forward to Monday. Leave this one behind us. Learn from it, watch the film, things like that, but everybody probably feels like they got to be better, myself included. Just go get it on Monday,” Tatum told reporters following the Celtics’ loss on June 10.

Now, heading back to San Francisco, Tatum will be looking to answer his critics with a big performance, not just in the scoring column, but also as a playmaker and defender, such is life when you’re an All-NBA talent fighting for the right to call yourself an NBA Champion.

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