The Boston Celtics may be the top seed remaining in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, but it’s the eighth-seeded Miami Heat who hold a commanding 3-0 series edge in their Eastern Conference Finals matchup. While the first two games of round three proved to be hard-fought affairs from start to finish, Sunday’s Game 3 was as lopsided of a bout as one can have, and star Jayson Tatum seems to know one of the major factors that aided in their demise.
For the contest, the Celtics shot a highly underwhelming 39.8% from the field and 26.2% from deep and posted 102 points compared to Miami’s 128.
Asked post-game what, in specific, impacted the club’s shooting efficiency on the night, Jayson Tatum provided a rather blunt admission.
“I didn’t shoot the ball well at all tonight. We got some open looks coming off the pick-and-roll, getting doubled, hitting over the top playing four on three. We just didn’t shoot the ball well at all, we couldn’t hit anything. Give them credit, they’re a really good defensive team. They play hard, they communicate. But we had a lot of open looks tonight that we normally make,” Jayson Tatum said.
The questioning reporter noted that Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown shot a collective 12-for-35 from the field (34%), with the former personally shooting 33.3% from the floor and 14.3% from deep on seven attempts. In the end, he would finish with a lackluster stat line of 14 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 3 turnovers all while sporting a plus-minus rating of -23.
Despite the grueling defeat, Brown still has hope that Boston can turn this series around, as he told reporters post-game “I’ma fight to the end” and that he’ll take it upon himself to “try to get our guys ready for the next game.”