Jayson Tatum savagely responds to critics as Celtics move within two wins of NBA title

Jayson Tatum savagely responds to critics as Celtics move within two wins of NBA title

The Boston Celtics‘ determination to end their championship drought has been made clear to a global audience following the first two games of the 2024 NBA Finals. Boston won Games 1 and 2 at home to take a 2-0 series lead over Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks — and the Celtics won both games in relative comfort even without a Jayson Tatum scoring explosion.

That the Mavericks have kept Tatum somewhat in check could be encouraging for Dallas as the series shifts west this week. But Tatum’s response to criticism over his most recent performances make it obvious he will take on whatever role he needs to take in order to claim his first NBA title.

Tatum has the big picture in mind

During the first two games of the Finals, Tatum has been criticized on social media for perceived passivity and inefficient shooting. Tatum shot 32 percent (12/38) from the floor in Games 1 and 2 and did not crack 20 points in either game — but the Celtics won both anyway, to move within two wins of an NBA championship.

As the Celtics zero in on their first title in 16 years, Tatum says he is more focused than ever and that he has put his ego to one side to do what is best for Boston. Right now, that’s his playmaking — Tatum provided 12 assists on Sunday night after posting a points-rebounds double-double in Game 1.

During the regular season, Tatum ranked seventh in the NBA with an average of 26.9 points per game — and that version of Tatum showed up in the Eastern Conference Finals to close out the Indiana Pacers, against whom he averaged 30.3 points per game. But this version of Tatum is convinced that making plays for others will bring the Celtics a record 18th NBA title.

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