Celtics star Jayson Tatum didn’t shoot well in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. He made just 3-of-17 shots from the field and was 1-of-5 from 3-point range, giving him 12 points on the evening.
Despite that, not only did the Celtics beat the Warriors in Game 1, but they also scored an astonishing 120 points against the league’s second-best defense. A big reason for that was Tatum’s playmaking. He finished with a career-high 13 assists on Thursday, which were also the most ever by a player in their first NBA Finals game.
While Tatum’s certainly expecting to shoot better in Sunday’s Game 2, he said he isn’t going to go out of his way to try and score.
“I don’t think [I’ll try to force shots],” Tatum told reporters at Saturday’s practice. “I had more assists than points last game. So I feel like I made the right play more often than not. You know, it’s not much to overthink. I feel like it’s a lot of shots, the open shots that I miss more often than not that I make.
“So it’s not something that I’m losing sleep over. You know, we won. That was most important, right? It’s the Finals. That’s all that matters. Obviously, I know I’ve got to play better. I can’t shoot like that every game and hopefully we win. I expect to play better shooting-wise, but just impacting the game in different ways to do my part, and let’s get a win. I will continue to do that. Just read the game, read each play. That’s how I kind of approach next game.”
Finals Game 2 is Sunday night at Golden State.