Following the Boston Celtics blowout loss to the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, All-Star forward Jayson Tatum called the defeat and the ankle injury he suffered on the first play of the game “frustrating.”
After winning three straight games to force a historic Game 7 on their home floor, the wind was taken out of Boston’s sails almost immediately as Tatum rolled his ankle on the first possession of the game.
While Tatum was able to remain in the game and play for 42 minutes, he finished with just 14 points on 5-for-13 shooting.
“It was just frustrating that I was … a shell of myself,” Tatum said of his first-quarter ankle injury. “It was tough to move. Just frustrating, it happening on the first play.”
Celtics forward Grant Williams was a bit more blunt with his assessment of the loss, telling the media that the C’s got “punked” by Jimmy Butler — who put up 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists in the do-or-die game — and the rest of the Miami Heat.
“We got punked. We didn’t play our game from start to finish,” Williams told ESPN.
“Defensively, we just lost it all, and then offensively we were scrambled and trying to do everything ourselves and just didn’t go our way. “You hate to have that be the end of your season, especially with the fight that we’ve shown. But shots didn’t fall either, so that didn’t help … it’s just tough.”
As a result of their Game 7 victory over the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat are advancing to the NBA Finals to take on two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, who haven’t played in a game since sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers on May 22.
Heading into Game 1 of the NBA Finals — which will tip off in Denver on Thursday, June 1 at 8:30 p.m. EST — the Nuggets are heavy favorites over the Heat with series odds in the neighborhood of -400.