NBA

Return to Eastern Conference finals a sign of Boston's character, claims Tatum

By Sports Desk May 16, 2024

Jayson Tatum believes the Boston Celtics' return to the Eastern Conference finals shows the character of the team.

Boston beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-98 on Wednesday to book their place in the Conference finals for a third straight season.

It is the sixth time in the past eight years that the Celtics have reached the finals.

"It just shows the character of the team, the organisation," said Tatum, who led Boston with 25 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

"People might think that it's a given that we're supposed to be here, but I give a lot of credit to everyone in the front office, the coaching staff, the trainers, the guys that hand out the equipment, the ball boys, the cooks, the chefs, the security team. We're all in this together. I do, I mean that.

"Everybody has an effect on each other, and we all impact each other to help winning and build this culture that we have.

"Everybody should be proud of themselves. Obviously, it's not the end all, be all. We want to win a championship, but we're doing something right."

Coach Joe Mazzulla lauded the mentality and attitude of his team.

"Close-out games are tough. It's a level of stress, anxiety, desperation; it takes what it takes," he said. "You've got to play 48 [minutes] hopefully, maybe more at times.

"And at the end of the day, you just got to keep going, continue to chip away at the things you can control."

The Celtics will face either the New York Knicks or the Indiana Pacers for a place in the Championship game.

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    Add in a coach in Mazzulla who's still not 36 years old with still room to further perfect his craft, and it's not hard to envision yet another banner or two hanging from the rafters of TD Garden in the near future.

     

     

     

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