Kendrick Perkins gives honest take on Jayson Tatum after Celtics' Game 4 loss
Perkins gives honest take on Tatum after Celtics' Game 4 loss to Sixers originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Celtics should be up 3-1 in their second-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, but they made too many mistakes late in the fourth quarter and overtime of Game 4 on Sunday afternoon and lost 116-115 at Wells Fargo Center.
The result is an even series with the action shifting to TD Garden in Boston for the all-important Game 5 on Tuesday night.
Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum has not been as consistent as you'd expect in this series.
He was phenomenal in Boston's Game 1 loss, scoring 39 points on 56 percent shooting with 11 rebounds and five assists. He struggled in Game 2, mostly because he got into foul trouble early on, and finished with seven points in 19 minutes as the Celtics won 121-87.
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Tatum was solid in Game 3, and he had moments late in Game 4 that were impressive -- particularly during Boston's 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to take the lead -- but there also were a few head-scratching moments from the veteran forward.
The biggest mistake came on the final possession of the game in overtime. The Celtics were trailing 116-115 with about seven seconds left when Tatum got the ball near midcourt. He waited two more seconds before driving to the basket, and by the time he kicked the ball out to Marcus Smart for the potential game-tying 3-point shot, the clock had run out and Philly had secured the victory. Waiting too long to start the action, especially when the Celtics were trailing, was a mistake on Tatum's part. Of course, head coach Joe Mazzulla could have called a timeout, too.
Former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins thinks Tatum has no excuses not to win a championship this season. The Celtics have all the motivation they need after last season's NBA Finals loss, plus plenty of talent at every position on the roster.
"With Giannis and the Bucks being out, he has zero excuses this season as far as (winning a championship)," Perkins said Monday on ESPN show "First Take." "Jayson Tatum better get it done when it comes to bringing a title back to Boston. Period. When you talk about having a complete roster, he has that. When you talk about having elite point guard play and guys who can bring it up and mix it up with Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon and Marcus Smart, and you have another superstar on your team in Jaylen Brown. You're not missing anything when it comes to the interior when you look at Robert Williams and Al Horford.
"He has zero excuses to not get it done. All I heard was how miserable his offseason was, and how he was waiting to get to this moment, and how he only cares about this time right now. Jayson Tatum has to get it done. Not just in this series, but throughout the entire postseason and bring a championship to Boston."
The Celtics are still in good shape. They have homecourt advantage with two of the final three games to be played at the Garden. They have outscored the Sixers by 41 points through four games, which is a pretty strong advantage. Boston easily could have won Game 1, especially if James Harden didn't tie a career playoff high with 45 points.
The Celtics were the better team entering the series, and nothing drastic has changed for people to view the situation differently going into Game 5. But the Sixers are dangerous, and if the Celtics fail to execute and their stars don't lead the charge late in games, Philly could eliminate them.
This is the time for Tatum to show why he's a first team All-NBA caliber player and set the tone right from the start of Game 5 with an aggressive mindset offensively.