‘I Got To Be Better’: Jayson Tatum Must Step Up For Celtics In NBA Finals

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Boston Celtics had a major chance to impact the outcome of the 2022 NBA Finals in Game 4. Had they won, they’d hold a 3-1 series lead. After losing 107-97, there’s significant momentum in the Golden State Warriors’ favor. Stephen Curry is coming off a 43-point performance with the series shifting back to Chase Center for two of the next three possible games.

Jayson Tatum has experienced no shortage of ups and downs throughout the four performances he’s played in the 2022 NBA Finals so far. He has yet to reach the 30-point threshold in any of his performance and has been below a 40-point field goal percentage in all but one game. He’s recorded more turnovers (10) than assists (nine) in the Celtics’ two losses.

“I mean, I give [the Golden State Warriors] credit,” Tatum said. “They’re a great team. They’re playing well. They got a game plan, things like that.

“But it’s on me. I got to be better. I know I’m impacting the game in other ways, but I got to be more efficient, shoot the ball better, finish at the rim better.

“I take accountability for that.”

LATEST NBA NEWS & FINALS COVERAGE: Draymond Green Benched In Golden State Warriors’ Game 4 Win vs Boston Celtics

Even despite Tatum’s performance, the Celtics had a chance to win. The difference? The Warriors’ closer — Stephen Curry — stepped up and carried his team with 43 points on the night while Boston’s faded away when his team needed him most. The Cs were up 94-90 with 5:18 left to play but immediately allowed a 10-0 run.

“We obviously felt like we put ourselves in the position to win the game,” Tatum said. “There’s a lot of things we wish we would have done differently, especially on the offensive end. I think we just got way too stagnant late in the fourth from everybody.”

The Celtics have a versatile defense and it’s gotten them far. However, every team needs their superstar to deliver in crunch time. Boston is getting just 2.8 points per game from Jayson Tatum in fourth quarters in this series — trailing four other teammates. He’s averaged 2.3 assists per game in the final period and that deserves credit, but shooting 25.0 percent from the floor isn’t going to cut it.

LATEST NBA NEWS & FINALS COVERAGE: Draymond Green Benched In Golden State Warriors’ Game 4 Win vs Boston Celtics

“I think that’s just as simple as it is,” he said. “I just got to be better. I know I can be better, so it’s not like I, myself or my team is asking me to do something I’m not capable of. They know the level and I know the level that I can play at.

“It’s kind of on me to do that more often than not just to help my team in the best way that I can. It’s not too much pressure at all. It’s kind of like my job.”

Want the latest in breaking NBA news, analysis, trade rumors, draft coverage, and more? Click Here.

Follow NBA Analysis Network on Twitter and Facebook.

About Grant Afseth 1057 Articles
Grant Afseth is a contributor to NBA Analysis Network who specializes in creating in-depth analysis. He also covers the Texas NBA teams for FanNation.