Jayson Tatum Cleverly Avoids Draymond Green's Question About Celtics' Next Opponent

Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum responds to question from Warriors forward Draymond Green on TNT's 'Inside the NBA.'
Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum responds to question from Warriors forward Draymond Green on TNT's 'Inside the NBA.' /
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The Boston Celtics beat the undermanned Cleveland Cavaliers 113-98 on Wednesday night to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the sixth time in eight seasons, but it wasn't without some lapses on the defensive end of the floor.

37-year-old Al Horford was remarkable in Game 5, scoring 22 points while adding 15 rebounds, five assists and three blocks, but was called into pick-and-roll coverages frequently against smaller, quicker offensive players as teams tried to expose the flaws (albeit, limited) in Horford as a defender.

Warriors forward Draymond Green joined TNT's Inside the NBA as an analyst on Wednesday night, and referenced Boston's pick-and-roll coverages in an interview with Celtics star Jayson Tatum after the game. While asking the question, he tried to get Tatum to look into the future regarding who Boston will play the rest of the playoffs.

It's safe to say that Tatum didn't take the bait.

"Y'all are moving ahead now, more than likely against the New York Knicks. And then more than likely it's the round after that against Joker and Murray or Luka and Kyrie, and teams are picking on Al Horford in the pick-and-roll," Green began. "What's gonna be y'all's adjustment to that in these next rounds with more dynamic guards when it comes to scoring, and teams just calling Al Horford to the screen-and-roll every time?"

"First of all, we don't know who we playing, so you're not gonna get me with that," Tatum said with a smile. "We're gonna take it one series at a time. We're not looking past nobody. This defense is a collective effort. We gotta be on the same page. And we trust everybody out there, whoever is on the floor. We play team defense and then we always talk about individual defense and your pride. We trust everybody, even Al, especially Al, whoever is on an island to take that pride knowing you got four guys behind you helping."

The Celtics are off until at least Sunday, depending on the outcome of Game 6 between the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers on Thursday night. If the Knicks win and advance to the Eastern Conference finals, Game 1 will be on Sunday at TD Garden in Boston. If the Pacers force Game 7, the Eastern Conference finals would begin next Tuesday.

The Celtics are four wins away from advancing to the NBA finals for the second time in three years, but they're not overlooking anyone in their quest to win banner 18.

Mike McDaniel


Mike McDaniel is a writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where he has worked since January 2022. His work has been featured at InsideTheACC.com, SB Nation, FanSided, and more. Mike hosts the Hokie Hangover Podcast, covering Virginia Tech athletics, as well as Basketball Conference: The ACC Football Podcast. Outside of his professional life, he is a husband, father, and an avid golfer.