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June 2, 2022

Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics

Game 1: Postgame

Celtics 120, Warriors 108

Q. Jayson, when you look back at Ime first becoming head coach, felt like one of the first things he prioritized was helping you become a better playmaker. What were some of those early conversations like with him? How much did you believe in yourself as a playmaker before he arrived?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, I think that was kind of his message from day one, just to challenge me to be the best player that I can be and improve other areas of my game.

We watched a lot of film throughout the course of the season of games, just areas, things I could improve on. You know, obviously play-making was one. Drawing a lot of attention. Just help the team out as much as possible.

So he's done a great job with challenging myself, just the group, in that aspect.

Q. When you don't score in the fourth quarter but the team scores 40, you have assists, play-make, but offensively you're off, how do you walk away from a game like that when you're not good offensively but the team is good otherwise?

JAYSON TATUM: Ecstatic, right? 40 points in the fourth quarter? J.B. played big. Al, Payton, D-White. Those guys made big shots, timely shots as well. And we won, right?

I had a bad shooting night. I just tried to impact the game in other ways. We're in the championship. We're in the Finals. All I was worried about was trying to get a win, and we did. That's all that matters at this point.

So I don't expect to shoot that bad again. But if it means we keep winning, I'll take it.

Q. You guys have had a pretty crazy season, lots of ups and downs. Seemed like that second half kind of encapsulated that. What allowed you guys keep your heads after another rough third quarter and respond the way you did in the fourth?

JAYSON TATUM: The message at the start of the fourth was, we’ve been here before. We know what it takes to overcome a deficit like that.

Obviously that's a great team. It's not going to be easy. But just knowing we've been in that situation before and we've gotten ourself out of it.

We had a lot of time left, right? It wasn't time to hang your head or be done, it was time to figure it out.

Q. When you're play-making specifically, it seemed like you were able to get going early, was there anything specifically they were doing to open that up for you or a matter of seeing open shooters and hitting guys?

JAYSON TATUM: Just reading the play. They do a great job of helping and things like that. So, you know, obviously it's just as simple as if you draw two, find somebody that's open. That's what I was just trying to do.

Q. After a couple of your bigger wins against Miami, you talked about how it was human nature to feel confident and let up a little bit. Did you feel like you took some lessons from that that are important to apply going into Game 2?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, I think so. And just knowing that, right, our last two series we lost Game 1. This time of the season, you feel great after you win. You feel terrible after you lose. You got to just be able to stay mellow, stay balanced, especially this early.

It's far from over, right? It's just one game. And we got to be ready for them to respond as if we would if we lost the first game. They're going to come out, they're going to make adjustments and things like that. So we have to be prepared and just approach it one game at a time.

Q. You and Jaylen and Marcus and some others have had this building for several seasons. You had it rolling after the first of the year. All of a sudden Derrick White gets dropped in as a new guy. What was your reaction to his arrival? How did you make him fit in in a way that was good for your team and for him?

JAYSON TATUM: I played with Derrick White with USA Basketball 2019. I was familiar with him. Smart and J.B. did, as well. Coach Will Hardy, Udoka was on his staff. We were familiar with him. He knew a lot of the guys.

Derrick is such a smart basketball player, he could fit in anywhere. I'm glad we got him. But he just knows how to play the right way on both ends of the floor.

You know, just kept it going as soon as we got him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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