Jalen Rose believes Jayson Tatum should focus on hunting for baskets, not for calls from the officials.
A very underwhelming performance from Tatum was a big reason why the Celtics fell to the Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday night at TD Garden. Asked what Boston needs to see from its franchise cornerstone in Monday night’s Game 4, Rose griped about one of Tatum’s on-court tendencies.
“Aggression and stop crying to the refs,” Rose said on the latest episode of ESPN’s “Get Up.” “I saw it at the beginning of the game. The one thing about being in the arena, you can see all access. The one thing I saw early from Tatum, he was looking back for calls. You got to play through the physicality, in particular, in the playoffs. Especially against the Miami Heat, who just got waxed on their home court and they came back with a level of physicality that needed to be matched.”
Rose isn’t the first noteworthy NBA talking head to take issue with Tatum complaining about officiating. Longtime Celtics broadcaster Mike Gorman also wants to see less barking from the three-time All-Star.
Tatum probably never will be totally tight-lipped and stoic in reacting to officiating. But critics will be less vocal about that facet of his game if the star forward routinely shines on a game-by-game basis.
The 24-year-old has done that for the most part this season, and he’ll look to get back on track with a showing that meets his high standard Monday night in Boston.