What Jayson Tatum Believes Doomed Celtics In Game 1 Loss To Heat

'We've got to play with more pace'


May 18, 2023

The Celtics seemingly took their foot off the gas too early Wednesday night, and it came back to haunt them.

Through two quarters of the 2023 NBA Eastern Conference finals opener at TD Garden, it looked like Boston was bound for a Game 1 win. The reigning East champions largely excelled on both ends of the floor in the first half, and at times, the Heat simply looked outmatched by a more talented roster.

But the second half told a different story. Miami blitzed Boston in the third quarter to the tune of a 46-25 advantage and played a sound fourth frame to steal home-court advantage in the best-of-seven set. After the Celtics’ 123-116 loss, Jayson Tatum looked back at where it all went wrong for his team.

“We’ve got to play with more pace,” Tatum told reporters, per MassLive. “I think in the third quarter, we kind of played too slow, mainly because we weren’t getting stops. In the fourth quarter, we made a couple runs, got to push the ball, and those go hand in hand with getting stops and getting out in transition. So, it starts on the defensive end. Just play with some more pace, play a little bit faster.”

A lack of pace wasn’t the only factor that troubled the Celtics on Wednesday. Boston wasn’t physical enough against a hard-nosed Miami team and it also showcased an inadequate intensity level.

The Celtics will need to make marked improvements in all of those areas if they want to take a leveled series to South Beach. Tipoff for Friday night’s Game 2 in Boston is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo and Celtics forward Jayson Tatum
Previous Article

Celtics Notes: Nightmare Third Quarter Sinks Boston In Game 1

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New Jersey Devils at Carolina Hurricanes
Next Article

Florida Panthers vs. Carolina Hurricanes Game 1 Best Bets

Picked For You