NBA

Jayson Tatum doesn’t mind not being Boston’s star in order to win: ‘Whatever it takes’

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Ever since Mavericks coach Jason Kidd called Jaylen Brown Boston’s best player, it’s been quite a struggle for these Celtics to resist the temptation of external antagonism, which is why Jrue Holiday felt the need to clarify his statement on the matter, when he agreed with what his rival tactician said. 

Now, after beating Dallas 105-82 in Game 2 this Sunday, he explained what he really wished to say. “I do not prefer one or the other. I prefer both,” Jrue said. “Both of them are superstars, and it’s being shown out here on the biggest stage in the world.”

Despite this clarification, Jayson Tatum has had to handle with the pressure of not being the team’s supposed superstar. However, he hasn’t felt the need to play in a flashy way to bring attention to himself, he simply wants to win.

“We always talk about do whatever it takes,” the forward shared, “for however long it takes. It has a lot to do with that I’ve been here before and we didn’t win.” Nevertheless, Tatum has been Boston‘s leading rebounder un both games of the series.

He’s also been playing for his teammates, and been a part of numerous pick-and-rolls, as well as defending against the Mavericks’ offensive powershouse. “I draw so much attention, I’m not always going to get the shot,” Tatum said. “Every time I take a couple dribbles, there’s like three people right there.”

This past Sunday, Jayson handed out 12 assists, which went along with his 18 points and 9 rebounds. “It wasn’t like I had to do anything spectacular,” Tatum said. “It was just about finding the open guy.”

Holiday was another key element in their Game 2 success, as yet again he proved to be one of the league’s most elite defenders. “Sometimes when I drive and I might get stuck, I need somebody to drift with me or to kind of be in space and be in my vision,” he said. “So I think for the most part, I just try to stay in front of him, give him a good outlet and he’s been making great reads.”

Coach Joe Mazzulla is tired of the press talking about who is Boston’s star, as his squad is meant to play as a team

This talk about who is the Celtics’ main player is really getting on Joe Mazzulla’s nerves. According to the Boston tactician, his team has stars on both sides of the floor, as their strength comes from playing together and focusing on teamwork.

“I’m really tired of hearing about one guy or this guy or that guy and everybody trying to make it out to be anything other than Celtics basketball,” Mazzulla expressed postgame. “Everybody that stepped on that court made winning plays on both ends of the floor. That’s the most important thing.”

The upcoming games of the NBA Finals will be Wednesday and Friday in Dallas, as Boston is yet to lose on the road during these playoffs. It has also been the ninth time in the club’s history in which they have won the opening pair of the championship series, where they have won the title in 8 of those occasions.

“Coming into a game, it’s kinda similar to a puzzle, and he’s done a great job learning how to solve the puzzle and do different things,” said the Celtics head coach. “Tonight with the way they were rotating, and the way that they were defending, the most important thing was to make the right play at the rim.”