After the Boston Celtics star Jason Tatum He got the NBA Finals rough, and Brad Stevens had a simple message for the franchise player for his team.
“I just told him to go on vacation,” Stephens, Boston’s chief of basketball operations, said with a smile during a video call with reporters after Boston’s season ended in a six-game loss to the Golden State Warriors in the championship role. “Go and get some rest.
“This guy gave us everything he had. When you look at the minutes, when you look at the matches that have been played… I’ve said this many times: He’s a star who doesn’t want to sit still. He wants to play, he wants to play all the time. I thought he’s in the finals, from Obviously, I think he would be the first to say he would like to relive some of those moments, but I thought there were other factors that contributed to his playing style.”
The 24-year-old star, who was named to the All-NBA First Team, has run ups and downs playoffs. He finished the post-season with the most turnovers of any player in a single playoff game in NBA history, and in the Finals shot 50% from the field once and less than 40% four times against Golden State – including just 31.6% shooting in 2 point shots.
As a result, it’s no surprise that both shooting two points and making games were problems not just for Tatum but the team as a whole in seeing Boston fall short of its goals. However, Stevens said we should remember how good both Tatum and Jaylyn Brown They have already reached this stage in their careers in terms of post-season success and that the team would not have been where it would have been without them.
Stevens specifically cited Tatum’s 46-point road game in Milwaukee in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals as evidence of this.
“The way I try to look at it is, obviously, we are all subjective at every moment and emotionally engaged, but when you start looking at it objectively and historically, what Jason and Jalen did in the playoffs, historically in their ages are rare in the air,” Stevens said. I think we’re very cognizant of the fact that even though Jason didn’t make his best series, there’s no chance we’d be there without him and without all of his great play all the way.
“I think of all times… Game 6 in Milwaukee was one of the best games I’ve seen playing singles in my time, definitely in person and with the Celtics. If not for that performance, we would have had this discussion a month and a half ago.”
Through “this discussion,” Stevens was referring to how Boston failed in these playoffs and what the Celtics need to do in terms of improvement. The two areas he singled out? More consistent bench scoring and play making across the menu.
However, Stevens was equally quick in pointing out that the Celtics have been able to go further this season thanks to a unique combination of size and diversity across the board – and that, with Boston looking to improve this summer, the Celtics have to He stays aware of those strengths and doesn’t shy away from them to improve other things about the team.
“I think we should walk a little fine line,” Stevens said. “I think teams are fragile. I think the way teams work together and work together is fragile. And I think your identity as a team, when you find a successful team, which we did this year at the end of the defensive floor and when we were at our best offensively sharing the ball, those things are fragile. So just adding on doesn’t mean you don’t take something away from the set.”
He went on to say that there are no players in the Celtics – including Robert Williams IIIwho dealt with soreness in his left knee during the playoffs – will require surgery, saying the rest will be enough for Williams and everyone else on the roster to bounce back from a grueling playoff that saw Boston play 24 of a potential 28 games.