NBA Eastern Conference Finals: Celtics vs. Heat

Monday, May 23, 2022

Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum

Game 4: Postgame

Celtics 102, Heat 82

Q. Derrick was talking at shootaround this morning about how he wanted to be aggressive, and he went out there and scored the first seven points. What kind of things did you see him doing? What kind of things were you telling him just to get him out of that funk he was in?

JAYSON TATUM: Just to be himself. You know, obviously we knew how important this game was, and everybody just had to come out with a different sense of urgency to start the game on both ends of the floor.

Q. Rob was talking about just trying to make him feel comfortable in Boston. Have you noticed at times him being passive and just being tentative since he got here, and in what ways do you try to encourage a guy like that?

JAYSON TATUM: Obviously Rob has been dealing with some knee things, so just keeping his spirits lifted and his confidence high and everybody just being there for him because we know how hard he works and how bad he wants to be out there to help us, and obviously how much we need him and things like that.

Q. When you guys have gotten in trouble in this series, Miami was able to speed you up and get into you and turn the ball over. How much of a focus was taking of the ball coming into tonight? I think you only had three in the first half and none in the second quarter.

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, we had, what, 24 turnovers last game, and we really felt like that -- that's why we struggled a lot the last game, and that was obviously something that we talked about in film and things like that. Just trying to take care of the ball and be better in that aspect.

Q. What's the last 48 hours been like for you? You were obviously disappointed after your performance in Game 3; did you talk to anybody that you usually don't talk to? Did people console you? What was the last 48 hours like when you have a game like that?

JAYSON TATUM: I mean, right after, it's tough, right. Frustrated with how you played, knowing how important this time of year is. Feeling like you let your teammates down, especially in a -- we lost by like six.

But I think I do a really good job of after I sleep it off, regardless if I have 10 points or 46 points, the next day is the next day, and whatever happened happened. I'm a big believer in you can't change what happened.

Last 48 hours have been cool, watching basketball, eat, just a normal day. Obviously I was ready to get back to play, but I didn't doubt myself. I know how to play basketball. Regardless how many points I scored, just trying to come out and help us get a win. That was what was most important.

Q. How much does Ime have to do with you guys being able to bounce back like this? You guys seem to have a really great deal of trust in him. What is it about him that gives you that trust in him?

JAYSON TATUM: I think just building a relationship throughout the season and the ups and downs that we've had. That all brought us a lot closer. Just grinding it out. Everybody stuck with each other throughout the season, even in those tough times early on, and even when we lose games, he does a really good job of just obviously telling us what we did wrong and what we need to do better. But making sure everybody believes in ourselves in the group and getting ready for the next one.

Q. His directness and his transparency, that's been here from the beginning. Do you like that consistency?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, he holds everybody accountable from the top to the bottom. Open-door policy, do the same with him and the coaches. I think that's great for the group and what we're trying to accomplish.

Q. Jayson, you were 14-for-16 from the line; how much of that was just the flow of the game, and how much of that was the focus on your part just to get to the line?

JAYSON TATUM: I think just being aggressive, right. Obviously from last game, whether it was from myself, teammates on the defensive end, just have a different burst of energy for myself, and it led to free throws and finding other guys for open shots and things like that.

Q. How do you bring the same sense of urgency to Game 5 that you did to this game after a loss like the last one?

JAYSON TATUM: I think obviously it's 2-2, so it's kind of like a new series, best of three. I think just having a conversation that I think human nature plays a part in, when you win a game you can relax a little bit, but obviously when we lose a game, we feel like the next game is do or die, and then we come out and play like we did and things like that.

I think we have to have that mindset going into Game 5, that it is a must-win game, because tonight was essentially something like that.

Everybody knew it. We could all feel it. I think that showed in the way we came out.

Q. You started out with an 18-1 lead, and yet you know the game is not going to be over, just in the nature of the way the series is. How do you keep that intensity so early in the game when you're up so big and you know that Miami could push back?

JAYSON TATUM: These playoff games are extremely long, and they're a really good team. We were down 21 the other day, and we cut it to one. We know that you can't let up until the buzzer is out. They hit shots in the fourth quarter, started hitting threes. So you never want to take your foot off the gas, especially in a playoff game.

Q. Ball security, rebounding, physicality, are those adjustments, or is it just a matter of effort and urgency?

JAYSON TATUM: Urgency. That was a focal point coming into this game was just have a sense of urgency on both ends of the floor, from start to finish. Really starting the game better obviously than we did last game. That's something that we talked about and something that we executed tonight.

Q. As many minutes as you've been playing, how nice was it to get some time off in the fourth quarter tonight?

JAYSON TATUM: It was extremely nice, especially because we were winning.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
120626-2-1043 2022-05-24 04:18:00 GMT

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