Jayson Tatum and Boston Celtics are now down 2-0 against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, and sure enough, they have no one to blame but themselves.
The Celtics could have been up with a two-game lead now. They dominated the most part of Game 1, but a horrendous third-quarter showing doomed them. Then in Game 2, they went up by as much as 12 points and were even ahead with six minutes to go in the final quarter … until Jimmy Butler happened.
A lot of things have gone wrong for Boston, but their performance in crunch time has been a big reason why they continue to struggle.
Apparently, in two contests so far, the Celtics have scored just eight points in crunch-time minutes against the Heat. They are 1-of-9 from the field overall, including going 0-of-6 from 3-point land. Most of their points came from the free-throw line (6-of-7), and they have five turnovers to make matters worse, per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports. Crunch time is usually defined as the time with less than five minutes remaining in the game and when there's less than five points separating the opposing teams.
It's definitely not a good sign for the Celtics. Now that they are trailing 2-0 despite playing at home, those numbers get even scarier. If Boston can't perform at crunch time at home, what can they do now that they're on the road?
Jayson Tatum has been horrible for the Celtics in the fourth quarter and in crunch time, so Boston will really need him to step up if they want to get back in the series. Of course Jaylen Brown and the rest of the squad shouldn't rely too much on Tatum alone. After all, he can't always win games for the C's.
It has yet to be seen what adjustments they'll make in Game 3, but they certainly need to make things work soon.