East Notes: Celtics, Jayson Tatum, Heat, Hawks


Jayson Tatum said he wasn’t surprised that the Heat closed the Cetlics’ 34-point lead to 14. Eventually, Boston closed it out to take Game 1 of their first-round NBA playoffs series.Jayson Tatum, NBA, Boston Celtics

“It’s supposed to be tough. In the playoffs no game is easy,” Tatum told reporters. “There’s no guaranteed wins regardless of time and score, how much time is left. … We just had to respond and we did that.”’

  • The Celtics outscored the Heat 31-14 in the third quarter. “There was a four or five-minute stretch when we didn’t handle it well, but I think the other 42-43 minutes — that’s the recipe,” coach Joe Mazzulla said.
  • Tatum blew off the incident involving himself and Heat wing Caleb Martin at the end. “It’s a physical game playing against a physical team. (Stuff is) going to happen,” Tatum said. “It’s probably not the last time I’m going to get hit like that, or fouled in this series. I wasn’t hurt to get hit like that. Just get up. … Just go down there and knock the free throws down.”
  • The Celtics should be ready for the Heat to start playing dirty, because that is what Pat Riley teams often do, wrote John Tomase of NBC Sports Boston.


It’s a different series for the Heat without injured forward Jimmy Butler. So the goal is to be tougher, more physical vs. the Celtics next time.

“Applying pressure and making things difficult, not really allowing me to get comfortable really from the beginning,” guard Tyler Herro told reporters after Game 1. “It’s one game. We’re going to leave it behind us and keep it moving.”

  • The Heat have now played two straight without Butler, who suffered a knee injury in the play-in round. They were also missing Terry Rozier, out with a neck injury.


  • The Hawks reportedly will contemplate trading star guard Trae Young this summer, though one NBA source told Hoops Wire that Atlanta is “far from desperate” to do so.
  • As I wrote here, the Hawks should maybe focus on keeping Young and backcourt-mate Dejounte Murray and look into dealing others around them.

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