Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum is doing his best to ignore the outside noise even as it swells after an embarrassing Game 3 loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday night.
But that’s easier said than done. Seemingly every media personality, from Bill Simmons to Charles Barkley to Shaquille O’Neal, blasted the Celtics over the last 24 hours for their putrid display, which put them in a 3-0 series deficit and on the brink of their season coming to a volatile end.
Tatum, who scored just 14 points in the pivotal defeat and made 1-of-7 3-pointers, isn’t getting caught up in the opinions of others as he found a way to block out the outside noise this postseason.
“I deleted Twitter from my phone to start the playoffs,” Tatum told reporters after Game 3, as seen on NBC Sports Boston postgame coverage. “Honestly, I haven’t seen anything good, bad or indifferent since Game 1 against the Hawks. I’m certain after every game you win, you’re the best player on the best team. And when you lose, you’re not the star and the team’s not good enough. I’m certain there will be some of that.”
Tatum understands the criticism is out there but by not giving it much attention, it allows him to put his focus elsewhere. And the Celtics will certainly need Tatum’s focus to stay on the basketball court if they have any hopes of extending a series that already seems lost.
“Out of sight, out of mind,” Tatum said. “You don’t see it because that’s not what’s important. What’s important is the guys in the locker room: teammates, coaches. We’re all in this together just trying to figure it out.”