Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown looked like they dispatched some postseason demons in their dramatic comeback series win over the defending champions in Games 6 and 7 in Round 2. That internal growth by the duo sparked a hope that things would be different this time around in an East Finals rematch against the Miami Heat where nightmare quarters were a constant theme in 2020.
Back then, behind the scenes, the Celtics brass was adamant that Boston was the better team but it didn’t matter as Miami won the series 4-2 thanks to a host of meltdowns in the second half of nearly every Celtics loss.
It was hard not to have a flashback to those ugly moments in Game 1 on Tuesday night.
Jayson Tatum was front and center after a dominant first half (21 points) single-handedly giving Miami 10 of their 39 points in the frame with six turnovers, his highest in any quarter all season. An extra onus when on him for this contest when Al Horford and Marcus Smart were ruled out pregame and he got exceptionally sloppy as the minutes and defensive attention piled up.