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NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: CELTICS VS. HEAT


September 14, 2020


Jayson Tatum


Boston Celtics

Practice Day


Q. What's the best way to approach the Miami offense with the way they're set up to have any of their guys be able to put the ball in the basket and the willingness and trust to have guys that arenít considered front-line guys per se impact scoring for them?

JAYSON TATUM: They do it as a collective. They've got a bunch of guys. They have a great bench. They play extremely well off the ball. They never stop moving, so you never can relax or let your guard down. You've just got to stay locked in the whole possession.

Q. How has it helped your development to play for winning basketball teams here at the Celtics over your first couple years in the league, and how do you plan to maximize your impact in this series?

JAYSON TATUM: Just build winning habits. I have gone to the Playoffs every year. It's my second time in the Eastern Conference Finals, so just grateful for the opportunity. It doesn't happen often. Just a testament to some great players I've played with, guys that are all about just winning.

Q. How much can you take from your regular-season matchups against the Heat, considering that they've added a couple guys and maybe are playing a different style now?

JAYSON TATUM: You could look back on it, the games that we played. Both teams are different now than last time we saw each other before we got down here. Guys are just playing at a different level. You can't worry about what happened in the regular season. You've got to look back on how they've been playing recently.

Q. Is Deuce in quarantine? Does he understand what that is?

JAYSON TATUM: Nah. He gets out tomorrow.

Q. You're all in the same city and all that. You guys are probably FaceTiming. Does he understand he can't see you? Did you explain that to him?

JAYSON TATUM: It's still tough for him to understand what's all going on. He knows somehow, some way he'll see me tomorrow, so he's excited about that.

Q. What does it mean for you to have family here and some of the other guys having family in for this series?

JAYSON TATUM: It'll make a lot of difference. It's been a long time since I've seen them or my mom. Just to have some familiar faces in the crowd to share this experience will be very helpful.

Q. One of your biggest strengths for this team has been your versatility, and then you go up against Miami and one of their biggest strengths is also versatility. Where is the edge for the Celtics in this series? Where will you guys find your edge?

JAYSON TATUM: I think it starts on the defensive end. Obviously, there are four teams left, or will be, and both teams are here for a reason. I expect it to be a lot of fun. It'll be tough. They're a great team. But I think for us everything starts on defense. That's where we've got to focus all our attention and energy at to begin with.

Q. What can you take out of that Toronto series? What's your biggest takeaway into this series and just your excitement level for playing in the Eastern Conference Finals here?

JAYSON TATUM: To finish out games. Obviously, Game 3 kind of changed the whole series. We were half a second away from going up 3-0 to playing in a Game 7. So finishing out each possession, each game, just how critical that is because you never know how that could change the outcome or the dynamic of the entire series.

Q. I'm wondering if the feeling for you is any different this time around. Last time you guys were in the Eastern Conference Finals it was going up against LeBron and the Cavs were favored. A lot of people picking you guys to come out of the East. Does it feel different?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, it feels different, just because my first year I didn't know what to expect. It was just my first go at everything. Now I can say I've been here before. That's how it's different.

Q. We haven't had a chance to talk to Gordon [Hayward] yet. Have you been able to catch up with him at all and just your thoughts on you guys staying alive now to be able to give him a chance to come back and play in this series?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, I've talked to him. Looked good. Happy to have him back, just to even be around. Obviously, we hope that he can play, get back healthy. But just to have G back around the team has been good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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