Celtics

Jayson Tatum is not your average playoff rookie

Jayson Tatum is not your average playoff rookie

BOSTON – It was Jayson Tatum’s first playoff game on Sunday, a time when even the most level-headed rookies might be feeling some anxiety/anxiousness/nerves.

But as we’ve seen all season, Tatum is not your run-of-the-mill first-year player.

So it shouldn't come as a surprise that in the most important game of his still-young NBA career, Tatum’s demeanor in Game No. 83 wasn’t any different than No. 23.

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And his play in Game 1 of Boston’s first-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks, would prove to be one of the keys as the Celtics squeaked out a 113-107 overtime win.

Tatum had quite the playoff debut for Boston, tallying a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds to go with four assists.

He became just the third rookie in franchise history to tally a double-double in his first playoff game, joining NBC Sports Boston basketball analyst Tommy Heinsohn and fellow Hall of Famer Bill Russell.

“It was a lot of fun,” Tatum said of his first postseason game. “I’ve always dreamed of this moment, playing in my first playoff game. It helped we were at home and we had our home crowd behind us and we got the first win.”

Tatum gave the fans a lot to cheer about as he opened the game by making his first four field goal attempts.

But as the game wore on, his Midas touch began to fade as the Bucks became more physical which in hindsight was among the many takeaways from his first playoff game.

Tatum wasn’t surprised.

"Nobody wants to lose, especially Game 1,” he said. “So everybody was giving it their all.”

And while Al Horford’s all-around game (24 points, 12 rebounds) stood out, as did Terry Rozier’s clutch shooting in the fourth quarter and his scoring in overtime and for the game overall (23 points), Tatum had his shining moments as well.

With neither team showing signs of taking control in overtime, Boston took a 106-105 lead with 2:10 to play.

They would get the ball back with a chance to take their biggest lead of the extra session, and it was Tatum delivering with a driving lay-up that gave Boston a 108-105 lead with 1:22 to play that turned out to be the game-winning basket.

Delivering big shots in big moments was nothing new to Tatum or the Celtics, which is why neither felt him being in his first playoff game would factor in his play.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens repeatedly told media leading up to Sunday’s game, that he anticipated Tatum would play well.

“Well I can say we expect it, because he’s shown it all year,” Stevens said.

Tatum did a lot of things well, but he made some mistakes too that at the time, were huge gaffes on his part.

None appeared to be bigger than the errant pass he made with 41.2 seconds to play in overtime that gave the Bucks the ball trailing 108-106 at the time.

Milwaukee had multiple chances to tie the game or take the lead, but among the key plays by Tatum was blocking the shot of Malcolm Brogdon with 27.4 seconds to play.

Moments later, Terry Rozier was fouled and made a pair of free throws with 18.8 seconds to play.

Boston had a two-possession lead, but Tatum knew the game while in hand, was definitely not over.

And that realization more than anything else, is what Tatum will take with him from Game 1 and apply towards Game 2 on Tuesday.

“It’s a long game and we understand that and both teams are playing extremely hard so it’s going to go down to the wire,” Tatum said. “That is what I really learned today; you can’t take really take plays off because ever possession matters.”

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Celtics Talk Podcast: Semi Ojeleye on state of the Celtics, toughest teams in the East, competitions between teammates

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Celtics Talk Podcast: Semi Ojeleye on state of the Celtics, toughest teams in the East, competitions between teammates

Celtics Talk Podcast with Kyle Draper, A. Sherrod Blakely, and Chris Forsberg...

1:12 - What’s the state of the Celtics after defeating the Bulls?

2:40 - Measuring stick game against Toronto and a chance to build confidence. Team acknowledged focus is on the Raptors. 

5:13 - Home court advantage. Could the Celtics win a playoff series in Toronto? Milwaukee?

7:55 - Celtics a better team than we are seeing right now. Will the Raptors continue to improve?

11:50 - Kyrie’s comments on getting a 14 or 15 year veteran

Semi Ojeleye joins the Celtics Talk Podcast...

15:06 - Semi on the team’s tough road trip and where they need to get better, Mentally getting prepared to guard tough players like Giannis

16:10 - The role that the Celtics are in where they are the hunted, not the hunter

17:50 - On his relationship with Gordon Hayward

19:45 - Teams in the East that are going to be standing in their way

22:50 - Who is he closest to on the team?

23:48 - Competition between teammates

Draper, Blakely, and Forsberg discuss...

26:55 - Jimmy Butler traded to the 76ers

29:25 - 76ers a more formidable challenger now in the East?

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

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NBA Rumors: Carmelo Anthony's Rockets career over, next team unknown

NBA Rumors: Carmelo Anthony's Rockets career over, next team unknown

The Carmelo Anthony experiment with the Houston Rockets is over.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday the two sides will part ways, but he's not technically being removed from the roster at this time. Here's why:

Anthony was signed by the Rockets as a free agent to help fill the void created when forwards Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute left Houston as free agents over the summer. Melo averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in a limited role for the Rockets, but he didn't quite fit as well as the team would've hoped.

"After much internal discussion, the Rockets will be parting ways with Carmelo Anthony and we are working toward a resolution," Rockets GM Daryl Morey said in a statement. "Carmelo had a tremendous approach during his time with the Rockets and accepted every role head coach Mike D'Antoni gave him. The fit we envisioned when Carmelo chose to sign with the Rockets has not materialized, therefore we thought it was best to move on as any other outcome would have been unfair to him."

The 34-year-old forward's next destination is anyone's guess. Several teams could use an extra scoring punch off the bench, and he does have 72 career playoff games of experience. His unwillingness to be a bench player could be an issue for any interested teams, though, because his scoring and defense no longer are starting-caliber.

The Rockets are off to a disappointing 6-7 start to the season and play the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors in a national TV game Thursday night.

Click here for a list of four teams who should consider singing Anthony

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

 

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