Jayson Tatum Issues Challenge for Celtics Fans in Game 5

Jun 6, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) reacts in the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks during game one of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 6, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) reacts in the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks during game one of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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Monday's Game 5 gives the Boston Celtics a chance to lift a trophy in front of their home fans for the first time since 2010, when they finished the Eastern Conference Finals off at TD Garden.

With an opportunity to win an NBA Championship on the parquet staring him right in the face, Jayson Tatum is expecting greatness from the Garden crowd. He issued a strong challenge for those who are going to be in attendance for Monday's potential clincher.

"I think it's going to be as loud as it's ever been, in my seven years of being a Celtic," he told reporters after Friday's Game 4 loss. "Excited to go back home."

There's no doubt that the fans will be ready to roll by the time the late 8:30 tip-off rolls around, but they also may be a bit anxious. With there being an extra day between Games 4 & 5, there has been more time for "what if the Mavericks come back" talk.

Even with those whispers of hypothetical disaster making their rounds, Tatum isn't taking it as extra pressure. He once again praised the fans for their unbelievable support, after Sunday's open practice.

"I don't look at it as pressure. I do notice, especially this time of the season, playoff time and obviously being in the Finals for the second time," he said of the increased attention surrounding the Celtics. "When you drive around and go to the gas station, or I wanted to go get some ice cream yesterday, it's Celtics gear everywhere and everybody is super excited about this team and what we have accomplished and what we have the chance to accomplish."

This season's team, as the slogan says, does feel different. The personalities of the players who are wearing the green uniforms make it extremely easy to root for them. An overall sense of selflessness and willingess to sacrifce in order to win, have helped fans get behind the 2024 Cs.

"You really just feel the love and support from everybody in the city of Boston, and how bad they want us to win, how much they have been cheering for us," Tatum explained. "So I don't look at it as pressure. Just unconditional support, and that we have an amazing fan base here."


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Sam LaFrance

SAM LAFRANCE