Jayson Tatum wasn’t surprised with the strategy first-year Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy deployed to defend the Boston Celtics superstar Friday night.
The Jazz tried to corral Tatum in Boston’s 122-114 win at TD Garden by sending two defenders his way from the outset of the contest.
Following the win, Tatum certainly didn’t hold back his opinion on the approach by Hardy, who spent last season as an assistant on the Celtics before moving on to assume the helm of the Jazz, and jokingly took a shot at his former coach.
“There’s been more double teams this year. Most teams wait until I’m hitting shots or it’s a matchup they don’t like,” Tatum told reporters per NBC Sports Boston. “Will was being an (expletive). He was just double teaming me to start both games. I knew it was going to happen. Just kind of took it as a challenge. Play the right way, figure it out. Still impact the game.”
The game plan from Hardy and the Jazz did very little to slow down Tatum. He finished with a game-high 39 points on an efficient 12-for-17 shooting from the floor to go along with 11 rebounds and three assists.
Like many NBA coaches, it will be back to the drawing board for Hardy in trying to figure out a way to successfully defend Tatum.