Jayson Tatum owns up to poor shot selection at end of Celtics-Pacers game

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Darren Hartwell
·2 min read
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Tatum has blunt reaction to missing final shot in C's-Pacers originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

If you screamed at your television in the final seconds of Sunday's Boston Celtics-Indiana Pacers game, Jayson Tatum understands why.

The Celtics lost 108-107 in Indiana after Tatum bricked a deep 3-point attempt with 1.8 seconds left. Boston had a full 7.7 seconds to run a game-winning play, and a step-back from 28 feet wasn't exactly the best option.

At least Tatum was aware of that fact.

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"That was on me," Tatum told reporters after the game. "I should have put more pressure on the defense. Obviously that's a shot that I take a lot and can hit, but you want to put more pressure on the refs and the defense in that situation."

Tatum hit an even tougher shot in Boston's season-opening win over the Milwaukee Bucks, banking in a 3-point heave over Giannis Antetokounmpo with 0.4 seconds left.

Those opening night heroics may have played a role in Tatum settling for a deep three Sunday night rather than driving to the rim to get a better shot or force contact.

Celtics Talk Podcast: Jayson Tatum’s ill-advised final shot, the Celtics slow start, and an exclusive 1-on-1 with Kemba WalkerListen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

But if there's a silver lining from Tatum's poor shot selection, perhaps the 22-year-old has learned his lesson after his late-game "heat check."

“I’ll take full blame," Tatum added. "I didn’t play nearly as well as I needed to or I’m capable of and my teammates and people expect of me. I’ll take that on the chin."

Tatum finished with 25 points on 9 of 21 shooting with 11 rebounds and five assists. He committed five turnovers, though, and went 0-for-3 from 3-point range in the second half.

Tatum is Boston's clear No. 1 option in late-game situations with Kemba Walker sidelined, so he should be in this situation plenty more times this season. If Sunday's result motivates Tatum to seek better shots than the one he took in Indiana, then that's a positive development for the Celtics.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Boston
-162-3.5O 225.5
San Antonio
+135+3.5U 225.5