Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum says key to beating Golden State Warriors to NBA title is not ‘rocket science’

BOSTON – As Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics have gone through their roller coaster over the past few months, turning their seasons around and reaching the NBA Finals for the first time in his career , there has been a lot of debate about Tatum’s status. NBA.

But as he prepares to play his first NBA Finals game Wednesday night at TD Garden, the Celtics will host the Golden State Warriors in a 1-1 draw in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Team, Tatum said he knew winning three more games would give him an indisputable title: an NBA championship.

“If you win a championship, they can discuss a lot of things,” Tatum said after practice in Boston on Tuesday. “They can’t debate whether you’re a champion.

“Obviously lost the night before. Just looking forward to rebounding tomorrow. First Finals at home, at the Garden. It’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to it, enjoying the experience.”

Tatum has become the face of Boston, making the All-NBA First Team this season and making his third straight All-Star before leading Boston to a playoff victory over Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jimmy Butler, who led the Celtics to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.

But his rise has brought debate over whether he’s a star or whether he’s graduated into the rare air of superstardom.

After being asked if “being a superstar player” surprised him this time around, Tatum turned around with a smile and asked where the idea of ​​being a superstar or not came from.

“A lot of people want to debate,” Tatum said. “I guess you just commented on the superstar, whatever that means, right? I saw there was a heated debate: Is he a superstar? I wonder where that came from. I tweeted Did I ever say I was a superstar and I was on the verge of a meltdown? That was never what I said.

“It was a big thing last year and a half or two. I saw it all the time. There was always a question in my head, I wondered who was speaking or saying that on my behalf, or why it was such a big deal.”

In addition to the natural push and pull of barroom arguments, arguments have arisen, in part because of Tatum’s growth as a player. He and the Celtics have been through Durant, Antetokounmpo and Butler — three future Hall of Famers — including two games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals and finals. seven-game series.

Tatum won the Eastern Conference Finals MVP Larry Bird Trophy for the first time after averaging 25 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.6 assists against the Heat. He had 30 and 46 points in the Bucks’ two road wins in the series. He even found ways to contribute when he struggled, such as in Boston’s Game 1 win over the Golden State Warriors, where he went 3-for-17 with 12 points and 13 assists.

He helped the Celtics lose two straight in the playoffs — the only time the Celtics have done since late January, when half of their teams didn’t play second in Toronto. during the game. Back to back at the end of the season.

“You have a bad day at work, and the next day you want to have a better day at work,” he said. “I think everyone understands that. You lose a game or you don’t play well and you want to come back and play a better game.

“I’m sure everyone can understand that, no matter where you work. It’s the same.”

The difference is that for the first time in his career, he is just three games away from an NBA championship.

Boston will have to focus on handling the ball. When the Celtics have 15 turnovers or fewer in the playoffs, as they did in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, they’re 13-2. But when Boston has 16 or more turnovers, as it did in Game 2, it’s 0-5.

“Turns are a big part of the game, especially when you look at how many turnovers we made and how much they scored from them,” Tatum said. “You just think, if you can limit these turnovers, you can limit a lot of these points.

“Yeah, I mean, basically we don’t turn the ball over, we give ourselves a better chance of winning. It’s not rocket science. It’s just a matter of doing it often.”

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