Jayson Tatum had every reason to be beyond miffed about the Celtics’ loss Wednesday night at TD Garden.
On most nights, a 34-point outburst from Boston’s franchise cornerstone would be enough to guide the C’s to victory. And Tatum apparently was supposed to have a chance to tack onto that point total with 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter when the Celtics had possession and trailed the Bucks by one.
But when all was said and done, Tatum never touched the basketball over the final 30 seconds of Game 5 and he was forced to helplessly watch as Milwaukee secured an improbable comeback win. The brunt now will be on Tatum to put on an All-NBA performance Friday night when the Celtics try to save their season at Fiserv Forum.
Tatum, however, wasn’t looking for anyone to feel sorry for him after Boston’s demoralizing loss.
“I mean, I could come up here and pout, I could be sad. I’m sure there would be a big story about how we’re defeated and how I don’t believe in us,” Tatum told reporters, per a clip shared by NBC Sports Boston. “Or I could come here and how it’s like — you can’t change what happened. It stings for sure but, you know, it’s 3-2 and it’s the first of four. There’s no sense in being sad and putting your head down ’cause that’s not gonna do anything for next game. Always be optimistic, believe in yourself, believe in the group — that we can win the game on Friday.”
On the bright side for Tatum, he can go into Milwaukee with some confidence knowing he dropped 30 in his last trip to the Bucks’ home court. Boston will need a similar effort from the three-time All-Star if it wants to force a Game 7.