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NBA Finals: If Mavericks can’t keep Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in front of them, Celtics are sitting pretty

Jrue Holiday led the Boston Celtics in scoring with 26 points in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday. Asked about his offense in a walkoff interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters, Holiday credited Jayson Tatum, who assisted on seven of his 11 made field goals.

“J.T. was taking it to the basket, they were double-teaming him and he was making the right play,” Holiday said.

In terms of individual scoring efficiency, Tatum wasn’t excellent. He finished with 18 points on 6-for-22 shooting and missed six of his seven 3-point attempts. To Holiday, though, that hardly mattered.

“The way that he played tonight, the way that he led us, getting into the paint, making plays, finding me wide open, it was all about him,” Holiday said.

This is a weird thing to say about a player who is shooting 31.6% from the field through two games, but it appears that Dallas cannot guard Tatum. The same is true of Jaylen Brown, Boston’s other star wing. Over and over in Game 2, Tatum and Brown attacked the Mavs off the dribble, forced them to rotate and created advantages for their teammates. Despite the Celtics shooting just 10-for-39 (25.6%) from 3-point range, Tatum recorded 12 assists, Brown seven.

“We didn’t shoot the ball nowhere near to our standard, but we kept getting to the paint, kept getting great looks,” Brown said in a postgame interview on NBA TV. “All night, I was just trying to create two-on-ones. All night, I was just driving, trying to make the 5 help and then just trusting my teammates on the back side. I gotta take care of the ball a little bit more, but I’ll take those looks. Most games, we’re going to be able to make those.”

While the margin of victory was slimmer than it was in Game 1, the contrast in style of play was just as stark. Dallas, which shot more corner 3s than any other team in the NBA during the regular season primarily because opponents blitzed Luka Doncic more than any other player, went 1-for-5 in the corners on Sunday. Boston’s defense mostly stayed out of rotation, nudging Doncic and Kyrie Irving toward midrange jumpers. On…


Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/nba-finals-if-mavericks-cant-keep-jayson-tatum-and-jaylen-brown-in-front-of-them-celtics-are-sitting-pretty/

Author : James Herbert

Publish date : 2024-06-10 05:49:33

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