The team is on the verge of a championship… While the Aces still disappoint

Tatum hasn’t lived up to expectations in the Finals.

The Boston Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks 106-99 in Game 3 of the 2024 NBA Finals at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday (Feb. 13). The victory was Boston’s third straight and moved them to within one game of the championship.

Jaylen Brown had 30 points, eight assists, and eight rebounds, Jayson Tatum had 31 points and six rebounds, and Derrick White had 16 points and five rebounds.

It was a dominant performance. Boston dominated Dallas from the start of the game and looked better than ever after the win. While their organic offense using a five-out system was impressive, 토토사이트 추천 it was their defense that was the biggest surprise.

Boston understood that Dallas’ offense is derived from the one-two punch of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, and they effectively defended the Dallas one-two punch with an infinite switch defense.

Boston was without Kristaps Porzingis on this night. This could have exposed a weakness in their perimeter defense, but they used surprise card Xavier Tillman off the bench to effectively fill the void.

It was a dominant performance, but Boston had a crisis. It was the fourth quarter. With an 85-70 lead at the end of the third quarter, the Celtics looked to be on their way to an easy victory. However, in the fourth quarter, Tatum began to waste offensive opportunities with turnovers and poor shot selection, and Dallas capitalized on the opportunity, using Irving’s scoring to pull away.

The lead quickly narrowed, and the game was now tied and heading into clutch time. It was Brown who decided the game. Brown stayed focused and calm as Tatum struggled to find his offense. Brown was able to get to Doncic or Irving one-on-one and score effectively.

Brown also exploited Doncic’s defensive weaknesses, leading to a string of fouls for Doncic, who was ejected from the game with six fouls. In fact, it was the most important play of the game.

In other words, with Tatum struggling, Brown took over in the fourth quarter and sealed the win. The two players are bound to be viewed differently.

Of course, Tatum didn’t have a bad game either. He exploded for 20 points in the first half alone, leading Boston’s offense. Without his first-half performance, Dallas could have taken the momentum.

Even with that in mind, Tatum’s fourth-quarter slump was too much. In the fourth quarter, Tatum was simply clueless on offense. He took bad shots, made poor passes, and committed turnovers, which ruined the flow of Boston’s offense.

Brown, on the other hand, was held to six points in the first half, but exploded for 24 points in the second half to lead Boston to victory. As mentioned earlier, if Brown hadn’t been the fourth-quarter savior, there’s no telling what would have happened with Dallas gaining momentum. Brown emerged as the hero in a crucial Game 3.

Tatum didn’t just struggle in this game, he struggled in Games 1 and 2. Tatum is now averaging 21.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in Game 3 of the Finals. The problem is that he’s shooting 35.9 percent from the field and 29.6 percent from three-point range, his worst efficiencies. At those shooting percentages, he’d be better off not taking shots at all.

Brown is averaging 24.3 points, 6 rebounds, and 5.7 assists in Game 3 of the Finals. He’s shooting 55% from the field and 25% from three-point range.

So far, Brown is the clear favorite for Finals MVP. If Boston wins the championship with ease, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Brown doesn’t win the Finals MVP award. Brown and Tatum are evenly matched in terms of stats, but Brown has been much better on the court.

The irony is that Tatum has always been Boston’s ace. Tatum is perceived by many NBA fans as the face and ace of Boston. However, his performance on the big stage is anything but.

Tatum was a disappointment in the Finals against the Golden State Warriors two years ago. In six games of the 2022 NBA Finals, Tatum averaged 23.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 43% shooting from the field, and 34% shooting from three-point range.

That was his first Finals experience, so he was excused for his inexperience, but not this Finals. Tatum’s performance is clearly disappointing right now, and if it continues, it’s safe to say he’s a bust.

With Boston now favored to win the title, the question is whether Tatum can redeem himself in the remaining games.

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