Monday, April 22

Celtics vs. Heat: Jayson Tatum said his confidence of making the NBA Finals is at a 10 going into Game 7

The Boston Celtics failed to close out the Miami Heat in Game 6 on Friday night, and now must hit the road for a win-or-go-home Game 7 with a trip to the NBA Finals is on the line. But despite the loss, in which an injury-ridden Heat team managed to shock the Celtics on their home floor thanks to Jimmy Butler’s 47-point performance, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum is 100 percent confident in his team’s ability to come out on top on Sunday.

“Scale of 1-10? Ten, it shouldn’t be any less than that, right?” Tatum said. “It’s the last game, this is what it’s all about. So on a scale of 1-10 it’s a 10 on my confidence level in myself and the group.”

Tatum and the Celtics already have a Game 7 win under their belts from the previous round against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, but the difference this time around is they won’t be playing in the friendly confines of TD Garden. 

The Celtics will have to hope they can work up some road magic as they did in Game 5 to close out the series and advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. 

“It’s no secret, it’s Game 7, trip to the NBA Finals, a lot on the line,” Tatum said. “Couple of us have been in this position before, we know what’s at stake. We know how much this means to everybody, we know that going into the game.”

Tatum did his best to try and put his team in a position to win in Game 6, after finishing with 30 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals. But he also finished with a team-high seven turnovers, four of which came in the fourth quarter. Tatum will need to cut down on costly turnovers in crunch time to help get his team to the Finals. But he’ll also need support from guys Jaylen Brown, who after putting up 18 points in the first half, finished with just two points in the second half. Brown can’t go invisible in Game 7, because Tatum alone won’t be able to overcome the Heat, especially if they’re playing like they did in Game 6. 

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