Celtics

'Playoff Jay' on display in Celtics' blowout of Pacers

'Playoff Jay' on display in Celtics' blowout of Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS -- For most of the regular season, there have been questions - legit ones - about Jayson Tatum’s aggressiveness.

That wasn’t an issue in the unexpected beatdown of the Indiana Pacers on Friday night, a game in which Tatum tallied 22 points on 9-for-19 shooting with seven rebounds, three steals, two assists and a blocked shot.

And if you believe Tatum, the breakout game was just one of what he anticipates will be a series of difference-making, high-impact performances on his part that will spill into the postseason.

“Playoff Jay,” quipped Tatum to NBC Sports Boston. “Hopefully I can keep it up.”

For those who don’t remember, Tatum was arguably Boston’s best player in the postseason a year ago when the Celtics shocked the basketball world and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals only to come up short in Game 7 to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

In 19 playoff games, Tatum averaged a team-best 18.5 points a year ago as a rookie, shooting 47.1 percent from the field.

Of course, those numbers came without Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward around due to injuries. They're both back this season and playing some of their best basketball right now. 

Still, how well they play won’t affect Tatum’s impact, particularly when he is being as aggressive, as we saw on Friday night against the Pacers. 

Tatum seemed eager to attack each and every matchup that was in his favor, beating players to the rim with his dribble-drive game. And when they tried to take that away, he made them pay with his 3-point shot. 

“I thought it was more off of cuts and attacking closeouts, but he did a good job with that, a really good job with that,” said coach Brad Stevens.

It was a preview of Playoff J, for sure. 

“I’m trying to be better,” Tatum said. “I know it’s that time of the year. I’m trying to be aggressive, be the best player I can be. It’s that time of the season.”

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.

Celtics Talk Podcast: A conversation with Bob Cousy

Celtics Talk Podcast: A conversation with Bob Cousy

The Celtics icon, who turned 91 Aug. 9, talks about receiving the Medal of Freedom, speaking out for civil rights, his legendary career and more. 

0:45 - Bob Cousy discusses where the Medal of Freedom ranks on his long list of accolades and accomplishments

3:30 - Cousy discusses his childhood, growing up poor, and what impact that had on his competitive side. He mentions how his only regret is that he wishes he could’ve done even more for people throughout his life, “who need a boost.”

8:58 - When Cousy was in the NBA, speaking up for civil rights wasn’t very easy. He discusses his journey as an advocate, and how he would have coached Colin Kaepernick through his kneeling protest in the NFL.

17:24 - Having black teammates put racial issues at the top of mind for Cousy, he discusses his experience with the Jim Crow South and how it is important for current Celtics to understand the history of race relations in Boston.

26:06 - Cousy discusses his philosophy to “fight hate with love” in an emotional moment.

29:37 - Cousy discuses the importance of great leadership for the success of a team, how teams have changed the way they handle a loss, and how money impacts basketball.

33:00 - Finally, Cousy reflects on his seven invitations to the White House over his lifetime, and the five times he has attended.

LISTEN & SUBSCRIBE:

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.

Best and worst trades in Boston Celtics history

boston-celtics-kyrie-irving-presser_1.jpg
File photo

Best and worst trades in Boston Celtics history

Happy anniversary!

Today marks two years since the Boston Celtics shocked the NBA world by trading Isaiah Thomas, Ante Zizic, Jae Crowder, and a future first-round pick to the Cavaliers for superstar guard Kyrie Irving. It was a franchise-altering deal for the C's, but not for the reason most expected.

Irving's tenure in Boston will be remembered for the knee injury that kept him sidelined for the entirety of the 2018 NBA playoffs and the lack of chemistry that plagued the 2019 squad. After two disappointing seasons, Irving took his talents to Brooklyn in free agency.

It's difficult to categorize the Irving trade as one of the best or the worst in Celtics history. On one hand, it was a major disappointment for a Boston team that had such high hopes for its most talented team in years. On the other, it's not like the Cavs made out like bandits either.

So while you won't find Irving on this list, there are plenty of other notable Celtics trades worth revisiting for better or for worse. Let's take a trip down memory lane at some of the most notable deals. . .