Celtics Notes: Tatum, Mazzulla, Brown

Jayson Tatum, who shot 5-for-21 from the field in the Celtics’ Game 6 win over the Sixers, bounced back with a 51-point eruption in Game 7 and said the key was being more relaxed, ESPN’s Jamal Collier writes.

“Going into Game 6 — it sounds crazy, I was too locked in,” Tatum said. “I was too tight. I was too in my own head thinking about what I need to do. How many points I need to score. It’s a big moment. And (Sunday) I was more myself. Pregame, I was relaxed, laughing, joking. That’s when I play my best, when I’m having fun. I just tried not to think about the pressure, what everybody is going to say. Just focus on the game and having fun.”

We have more on the Celtics:

  • First-year coach Joe Mazzulla believes Tatum’s understanding of the game and the coverages thrown at him led to his huge performance, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “I mean, that’s the word, he’s learned how to problem solve,” Mazzulla said. “So he can recognize matchups, coverages, he can anticipate the next coverage, he can see the spacing. He can put guys where they are and make the right play, so that to me is the evolution of players is can they problem solve over and over again, and he’s done that.”
  • Mazzulla was taking heavy criticism after the Celtics trailed 3-2 in the series but he showed his poise and coaching acumen during the last two games, Jay King of The Athletic notes. Marcus Smart was impressed how Mazzulla handled the situation. “I think it’s fair to say that if Joe freaked out, nobody would have blamed him,” Smart said. “He’s a first-year coach put into this situation, he’s put into the hot seat and then you have a team that’s not playing up to its standards, then you’re getting the criticism and then you come back and win two games. I think nobody would have been surprised if he blew up, but he kept his composure, he kept his poise.”
  • Jaylen Brown‘s technical foul from Game 7 has been rescinded by the league, NBA Official tweets. Brown reacted when Sixers forward Georges Niang grabbed his leg near the Sixers’ bench.
View Comments (8)