Jayson Tatum credited the Boston Celtics' stunning win in Game 1 to their tough journey en route to the NBA Finals. Despite being down by 12 points heading into the fourth quarter, the Eastern Conference champions fought back to grab a 120-108 win.
The team has previously been in similar situations. Like always, they kept fighting and eventually stole the win on the road.
Tatum had an off night as he managed to score only 12 points while shooting 3-of-17. Although he was unable to contribute to the scoring, the 3-time All-Star made a playoff-high 13 assists in the game. Meanwhile, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Derrick White stepped up to lead the fourth-quarter resurgence for the Celtics.
Of the team's turnaround, Jayson Tatum said:
"The message at the start of the fourth was, 'We’ve been here before. We know what it takes to overcome a deficit like that.' Obviously, that's a great team, you know it's not going to be easy.
"I'm just knowing that we've been in that situation before and we've gotten ourselves out of it and we had a lot of time, right, so it wasn't time to hang your head to be down, it's time to figure it out."
Coming into the NBA Finals after winning the Eastern Conference finals MVP award, all eyes were on Jayson Tatum. His Game 1 performance was definitely miles off his best and he will be looking to get back to his best soon.
"JB played big. Al, Payton, D White, you know, those guys made big shots, timely shots as well, and we won right. I had a bad shooting night, you know. I tried to impact the game in other ways, you know.
"Winning the championship, we're in the Finals, all I was worried about is trying to get a win, and we did. That's all that matters at this point. So I don't expect to shoot that bad again, but it means we keep winning. I'll take it."
Can Jayson Tatum overcome the bad performance in Game 1 and get better for the remainder of the series?
Jayson Tatum has the most points by any player in this season's playoffs. The 3-time All-Star has averaged 26.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game in 19 playoff games. His numbers clearly show that Jayson Tatum has had an all-around postseason.
He also takes pride in his defense and has locked up some of the best players on the opposition teams. His performance in Game 1 of the NBA Finals is concerning, but Tatum has the ability to bounce back strong.
Even in the series against the Miami Heat, the young star had a poor Game 3. However, he came back well from there and led the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals. The Celtics will be happy that the other stars in the team stepped up in Game 1 against the Warriors. But they will need Jayson Tatum to be back at his best soon.
Although the Warriors fell out in the fourth quarter, they are capable of mounting a strong comeback in the next game. The Dubs have the experience of playing on the biggest stage, and despite the lead, the Celtics cannot get complacent.
Tatum is one of their best offensive players, capable of tormenting any defense in the league. He will be looking to get back to his rhythm in the next game and lead the Celtics to a 2-0 lead. This will put the team in the driver's seat and help them get a little closer to winning the 18th championship in franchise history.