What Jayson Tatum said about ankle injury impact after Celtics Game 7 loss

by 24USATVMay 30, 2023, 2 p.m. 18
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Jayson Tatum did not look like himself for the final 47 minutes of Game 7 after turning his ankle on his first shot attempt of the game. The All-Star forward managed just 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting after the injury despite playing 42 minutes in the defeat and looked far less aggressive than his usual self in the Celtics 103-84 loss.

Tatum walked to the podium with a limp after Game 7 and revealed the true extent of how much the injury bothered him through the ugly performance by the team.

“It’s tough because it kind of impacted me the rest of the night,” Tatum said. “It swelled up and it was just frustrating that I was kind of like a shell of myself. It was tough to move. Just frustrating. Especially it happening on the first play.”

Tatum was not looking for pity after the game though as he was asked about how much the injury impacted his play.

“I mean, I don’t want nobody to feel bad for me,” Tatum said. “Unfortunately, injuries are a part of this game. I’ve been fortunate enough, up until this point I never missed games. I played 95 percent of the games since I’ve been in the league. Top two in minutes since I’ve been in the league. It just was an unfortunate fall tonight on the first play of the game. Something I was trying to battle through throughout the game.”

Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart both tried to pick up the offensive slack in his absence but failed miserable as the hosts scored a season-low 84 points.

“When my team needed me most, like JT hurt his ankle, first play of the game, and you could see it like swelling up on him,” Brown said. “He couldn’t move out there. It was tough for him. My team turned to me to make plays and I came up short, I failed. It’s tough. I give credit to Miami, but just a terrible job.”

“He hurt his ankle really bad early,” Smart added. “He could have came out the game. He stayed in, he tried to fight. Obviously, you can see he wasn’t himself. He wasn’t as explosive. The ankle was really killing him. He tried to fight, it just didn’t go in his favor. It didn’t go in any of our favors but we continued just to fit and help him and try to get through.”

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