NBA Notes: Celtics, Jayson Tatum, Nets, Ben Simmons, Suns


Guard/forward Jayson Tatum said the Celtics are enjoying themselves after getting off to a 2-0 start.

“There were some tough times last year where we’d have a lead and lose it or lose close games at the end,” Tatum said, via Jay King of The Athletic. “But just the way we’ve responded last season into the playoffs and then the start we had this year, it’s just been fun. The way we’ve been playing has been fun. Everybody gets in and contributes in one way or another. We feel it and hope you guys can see it, just the joy we’ve been playing with.”

Tatum cited the team’s cohesiveness.

“The way we’re playing on offense the majority of the game, playing with pace,” he said, via King. “Not always calling the plays, just like, trying not to be stagnant as much as we can. Last year, we probably would’ve struggled with that early, but the ball was just popping, and trying to get somebody else open to make a sacrificial cut or screening for somebody else. Passing up a good shot for a great shot. Just having a feel for where guys are on the floor. We’ve had a lot of practice with that. The guys that have been here for a while, it shows. The camaraderie we have and just the feeling we have for each other on that end.”


Guard Ben Simmons looked much more comfortable in his second game with the Nets, coach Steve Nash indicated, via Nick Friedell of ESPN.

“A step up for Ben,” Nash said, via Friedell. “From the jump he was more aggressive. He got in the paint, every time he gets in the paint he causes problems. … He’s starting to show the player he can be, and I still think he’s got a ways to go, so really proud of him. He shook off the first night, and I thought he was much more aggressive in an important game for us.”

Star forward Kevin Durant was equally impressed.

“He just got downhill — he just played free,” Durant said of Simmons, via Friedell. “He didn’t think too much. I think we’re all a little anxious to start playing, start the season last game, so we had a better start to the game. … He impacted the game as much as he could tonight. … We need that from everybody, but I think we’re all a little [more] relaxed, even the coaches.”


  • Through the first two games, the Suns trail their opponents 70-43 in free-throw attempts, per Gerald Borguet of Go Phoenix.
  • Shooting guard Devin Booker said that needs to change. “I think we need to keep (opponents) off the free-throw line a little bit, especially in the first half,” he said, via Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. “Those are the easiest looks that they’re gonna get, so try to limit those.”

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