Jayson Tatum has been through this. In 2018, in his rookie year, the wingtie found himself in the final of the 3-2 conference, with two match points to reach the final.
But LeBron James and his Cavaliers settled in Ohio before winning Massachusetts in the 7th game of the series. So inevitably, after winning the 5th game and while Boston has all the cards in hand to find the finals, he faces less heat, the wingman does not want to set himself on fire and advocates caution.
“We led 3-2 in my rookie year, but the team is very different, of course.” I’m much better, JB (Jaylen Brown) also. We are just older and we have a hard time. But you know, the state of mind and the discussion we had after the match told us we lost 3: 2 last time. (against Bucks)that we had to win the sixth match outside and we succeeded. We can’t think it’s over. We have to go home with the feeling that we are losing 3: 2, with the feeling of urgency that it is absolutely necessary to win, not relax, because we are in the lead. »
“It’s just another step for our boys to continue their efforts.” We wear defensive teams and make it even more difficult for them mentally and physically. If we do, we will be in a good position. “
This group has never made it to the finals, despite three conference finals between 2017 and 2020, and although it has never been so close, there can be no question of a projection too far ahead.
“We cannot release them like this. We must not believe what they say on TV that we will win the title, because it is far from over. continues Jayson Tatum. “We spoke about it.” We just went to Milwaukee and won a very big game 6. So it’s possible. We arrived tonight saying it was a match to be won, and we have to keep going like this, return to the court on Friday as if we lost 3: 2. It’s a great team, well trained. They do not intend to give up. It will not be easy. So, you know, I can’t wait to be there. It will be a challenge, but it will be fun. »
And then, while he also repeats that his team has to take matches one by one and not show too much, Ime Udoka also reminds us that getting to the finals is not an end in itself.
“From our side, I don’t think anyone would want to get to the finals”explains the coach whose only goal is the title. “We know what it is, what the task is.”
For the technician, the plan for game 6 will be the same as for the previous ones.
“Nothing changes. After the victory, we had to have the right mentality, and we succeeded. We wanted to do the same thing, end up at home. We know we don’t have to come back here. It’s just another step for our guys to keep trying. We wear defensive teams and make it even more difficult for them mentally and physically, and if we do, we will be in a good position. “