June 12, 2022
Q. You've been working on your connection with Jaylen throughout this year, but in crunch time, feels like Jaylen gets lost in the shuffle. You as the playmaker, what kind of things are you doing to get him more involved, especially late in games?
JAYSON TATUM: That's just something we have to be better as a team, knowing who is on the floor, what we are trying to take advantage of, and how to put guys in the best position for them to be the best version of themselves. That's something that we just continually talk about from game to game after we watch film.
Q. The narratives shift after every game and now, you guys blew it, Golden State is going to close it out, they have championship mettle. How do you understand that it's 2-2 and you still have a chance but also understand the stretches in the fourth quarter, the games that you guys have messed up, that really can't happen anymore?
JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, it was a tough loss, and we understand that, and I think we've been here before. This is third time in a row I feel like we've been here. So we know what it takes. We know what we have to do and attention to detail and things like that. I'm confident like I have been all playoffs, confident in the fact that we'll respond and play better for the majority of the game tomorrow.
Q. You've been in this building before. How would you describe the atmosphere of playing here and how might that impact Game 5?
JAYSON TATUM: I mean, they have got a great crowd. Great fan base. Obviously they have been in this position many a times in the Finals after the last six, seven years.
But you know, it's basketball and I feel like, for whatever reason, we've played somewhat better on the road this playoffs than we have at home.
Q. As you said, you guys have been able to respond to a loss with a win in these playoffs. How much is it mental adjustments to the opponent you guys are facing?
JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, it's very mental. I think, just like I said, just the attention to detail and making the adjustments in game and having an awareness and not let things snowball and not necessarily let it it -- make the adjustments for next game after we lose, that we can be better at, you know, making adjustments and figuring things out and from quarter to quarter and things like that.
But it's a big test for us tomorrow. It's like a new series, best of three. Excited for the challenge.
Q. What have you learned playing against Curry these last four games? You only face him twice a year. Obviously, everybody knows his shooting range, but what maybe nuances have you learned in the challenge to stop him, and what more can you guys do tomorrow night?
JAYSON TATUM: I mean, everybody knows he's a great player, right, one of the greatest. He's doing what he has to do to put his team in the best position to win. You know, it's no secret. I knew he was a great player before the series, and after Game 4, I knew he was a great player as well.
Q. Obviously your first time in the NBA Finals. Curious as the series has gone on, what's the biggest thing that you've learned about yourself and also about your team?
JAYSON TATUM: I mean, honestly I don't know if I've learned anything differently. Obviously, I know it's the Finals and we know what's at stake, but I think being in it is hard to kind of process. It's different than if I was watching it on TV and all the coverage and things like that.
But from my point of view, we've got a game tomorrow, and we got practice today and we got shoot-around in the morning to get ready for another game. It's just trying to stay present and in the moment and not, you know, get worried or consumed, I guess, with everything surrounding Finals, and just trying to win the next game.
Q. I would like to ask you, until now, until Game 5, what is the most remarkable moment that you will not forget when you look back?
JAYSON TATUM: In the Finals? I would just probably say the first Media Day, the first game. You know, just the first of everything, I guess, because my first time in the Finals. I don't think I'll ever forget any of these moments, especially the first time that we came to practice and had open practice and things like that.
Q. You haven't been shy throughout your career of sharing your ambitions of being one of the greats. Now in your first Finals, how much pressure do you put on yourself to live up to that?
JAYSON TATUM: I guess the same amount of pressure I've always had. You know, it's not something that I like, you know, go to sleep thinking about, wake up. Obviously I want to win by any means necessary and I'll do whatever it takes.
That's all I really care about right now is winning. Whether you win or you don't win, you guys will debate rankings or, you know, what does that matter for your legacy and things like that. That's kind of not up to me. You know, in this moment, I've said it, I felt like every day, just trying to do what I can to impact winning by all costs.
Q. I talked to your dad this morning, and he talked about how he's taking a hands-off approach in critiquing your game during the Finals. And curious to know from your perspective, how encouraging overall has your family and inner circle been during the Finals, win or lose?
JAYSON TATUM: You know, they have been very supportive throughout my career. You know, I know that they are proud of me regardless, and that's how it should be as family. I don't think this is any different. Obviously they are extremely happy for the position I'm in and my team. But you know, they have always been super-supportive, and that hasn't changed now.
Q. Ime said in Game 4 you were maybe searching for fouls and not getting them and that may have led to your lack of success at the rim. You said you need to be better; how specifically do you need to be better and how do you, as previously said, not put too much pressure on yourself, because this could be a legacy-defining game for you?
JAYSON TATUM: I think one thing I noticed is playing on two feet a lot more. You know, like Coach said, playing off one foot and trying to look for fouls isn't -- has not been working in my favor as much.
So I think playing off two feet, attacking angles, instead of trying to initiate the contact and things like that. And it's a game tomorrow. Looking forward to it. It's 2-2. So not necessarily thinking about what it means for my career but just what it means for our team and what we're trying to accomplish right now.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports