Jayson Tatum gives honest reaction to Heat's upset of No. 1 seed Bucks
Tatum gives honest reaction to Heat's upset of No. 1 seed Bucks originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Wednesday night provided the first major upset of the 2023 NBA playoffs.
The No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks were not only eliminated by the Miami Heat in the first round, it happened in only five games. Heat forward Jimmy Butler played like an absolute superstar throughout the series, including a 56-point effort in Game 4. Butler led a 16-point comeback in the fourth quarter of Game 5, including a layup to force overtime in the final seconds.
The Bucks going down makes the path to the NBA Finals a little easier for other Eastern Conference contenders like the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are trying to avoid a first-round upset, too, and they can eliminate the Atlanta Hawks with a Game 6 win at State Farm Arena on Thursday night.
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Celtics star Jayson Tatum was asked Thursday about the Heat's stunning series win.
"Just some high-level basketball. Some great individual performances. Some great team performances," Tatum said. "I guess it was a No. 1 vs. No. 8 seed but it's two really good teams with some great players and coaches. It was just some good basketball to watch."
Does the Heat's triumph serve as a wakeup call to the Celtics?
"I wouldn't necessarily call it an upset," Tatum said. "Miami is a really good team. They have a great coach, obviously. They have some great players. They just made plays. I guess people weren't expecting them to win, but I wouldn't call it an upset."
Celtics guard Marcus Smart seemed even less surprised that the Heat defeated the Bucks.
"I wasn't too surprised. The Heat are a dangerous team. We all know it," Smart told reporters Thursday. "The Heat play different in the playoffs. They played the Bucks really well. I'm not as surprised as others, but I am surprised that (the Bucks) went down the way that they went down. It just shows you that in the playoffs anything can happen. You gotta be ready at all times."
It's now very possible for the Celtics and Heat to meet in the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year. But there's a long way to go for both teams before we reach that point.