Jayson Tatum Asserts Celtics Aren’t Cutting Corners This Season

The Celtics have promoted the idea that “it’s different here” throughout the entire season. It appears everywhere—in ads, images, and hashtags, among other things.

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics.

Even after Monday’s victory in Charlotte, it was mentioned in Jayson Tatum’s (kind of) speech on this season’s team. In response to a question regarding how he and his Celtics colleagues plan to finish the regular season on a high note in order to get ready for the postseason, he explains how the 2024 Cs aren’t “skipping steps.” 

Boston Celtics (@celtics) / X

Tatum told reporters, “I think we had a few bad losses at the last few weeks of the season because we were so eager to get back to the Finals last year” (h/t NBC Sports Boston). “We played six games in the preliminary round. 

Maybe there were some things we took for granted. We’ve done a great job this year of wanting to improve without slacking off and honoring every game, every day.

Boston blowout: Celtics make history with 52-point drubbing of Warriors

This is not surprising to hear from JT in this particular perspective. This season, head coach Joe Mazzulla has made numerous speeches in which he has emphasized to his team that daily improvement is what matters most.

The way the ensemble plays gives us the impression that we have seen that. 

The group team that the Celtics have this year operates differently from last. They genuinely focus on their shortcomings while gazing into the mirror.

Consider it. 

Boston Celtics vs Oklahoma City Thunder: Preview, Game Info, Where to  Watch, and Expert Picks

How many times have we heard athletes lament the desire to improve only to continue making the same errors?

Not very much.

Yes, the two defeats suffered in Atlanta last week were appalling. However, it is quite uncommon to witness the Celtics perform poorly for a stretch of games. 

As a matter of fact, bad play rarely lasts more than a quarter or two. Boston has been excellent at making changes when things don’t work out. 

 The previous season, players would repeatedly take the platform and act responsible, but they were still losing inexplicably.

My best example occurred in March 2023, when the Milwaukee Bucks and the Cs were in a close competition for home court advantage. 

Jayson Tatum, Sam Hauser each score 25 as Celtics beat Hornets 118-104 for  11th win in 13 games | Sports | thesunchronicle.com

When they faced the 34-42 Washington Wizards on March 28, they had a great opportunity to catch up.

Malcolm Brogdon had informed the media two days earlier that Boston desired the first seed and recognized the value of home court in the postseason.

You won’t believe what transpired next.

The Celtics’ pursuit of the top spot was ended as Kristaps Porzingis and the lads completely destroyed them.

However, the Celtics were fortunate. The Bucks ultimately suffered a first-round loss to the Miami Heat, which left the Cs with the best remaining seed.

As it turned out, the 2023 Celtics had no use for home court. 

The Celtics already have clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference,  but they're still working on things before the playoffs begin - The Boston  Globe

Only five of their eleven games at TD Garden were victories. They only won three of their final eight games in Boston, which made their record after the first round much worse.

The Celtics not only broke their word, but they also demonstrated that it wouldn’t have mattered if they had taken the first seed. 

 The part where they were meant to work out the kinks was skipped. The team for this season is revved up and prepared to play.

Mazzulla has repeatedly stated that he intended to use the remaining games of the season as an opportunity to test things out before the postseason. 

Boston Celtics (@celtics) / X

Whether it was visually appealing (the victory in New Orleans) or not (cough, cough, Atlanta), he has accomplished precisely that.

They may not be flawless, but at least they’re making the effort to come as close as they can.