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Here’s what Draymond Green said about Jayson Tatum’s struggles in the final


Celtics

“Overall, I think he played well, and that’s why it’s a 2-2 series.”

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum throws a shot against Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green. Photo AP/Steven Senne

Celtics star Jayson Tatum hasn’t played to his usual standards in all four NBA Finals games, but Warriors forward Draymond Green – who grilled his share of beef with Celtics fans – believes that Tatum is still integral to the success of the Celtics.

Tatum is yet to explode for one of his signature plays, despite shooting 43% from deep in the final. The Warriors have made life difficult for Tatum around the rim and largely kept him out – he’s yet to make double-digit free throws in four games.

But limiting Tatum comes at a price – he’s improved dramatically as a entertainer this season and averaged nearly eight assists per game in the Finals, including 11 in the Celtics’ two wins.

So while Tatum could shoot better, Green remains impressed.

“It’s tough,” Green said. “You are experiencing something for the first time. I think he did well. He may not have shot the ball as well as he would like or as everyone would like, but overall I think he played well, and that’s why it’s a series 2-2, which returns for Game 5.

“I think he handles it all extremely well. He takes what the defense gives him, and that’s what great players do. But I think he does a good job. »

Tatum – who has often expressed his appreciation for the NBA’s greatest players and his own desire to join their ranks – was asked about the pressure he feels now that he’s in the Finals.

“I guess the same pressure I always had,” he said. “You know, it’s not something I like, you know, going to sleep thinking, waking up. Obviously I want to win by any means necessary and I will do whatever it takes.

“That’s all I really care about right now is winning. Whether you win or you don’t, you’ll be debating the rankings or, you know, what does it matter to your legacy and things like that. It’s not up to me. You know, right now, I said it, I felt like every day I was just trying to do what I could to win at all price.

Green, meanwhile, has struggled tremendously on the offensive end. Steve Kerr isn’t particularly excited about it.

“Everyone is stuck on their score,” Kerr said. “Scoring was always the last thing we needed from him. We need his defense, his energy, his strength, his competitiveness. During the game he made huge plays at both ends.



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