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The Garden Report: Managing Jayson Tatum and Celtics minutes

On the coronavirus, limiting minutes for Jayson Tatum and poor effort by a different — more explicit — name. Marcus Smart discussed how the Celtics keep it real.

Utah Jazz v Boston Celtics Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

Friday’s loss marked three in four games for the Boston Celtics, who once again slacked in their effort while allowing 113 points across the fourth quarter against the Nets and the first half against the Jazz.

After building an early lead, Boston capsized as the Jazz shot ahead on the a 45-18 run and led by as many as 16 nearly exclusively making their runs against Boston’s bench. Brad Stevens experimented with bench lineups around Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum while Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward sat out. None worked, and none proved more disastrous than the ones around Brad Wanamaker.

Still, Stevens wants to see the bench groupings once the teams assumes full health. It’s worth wondering if they’ll get there, as they haven’t since opening night. If they can’t the Celtics don’t appear to have the depth to sustain multiple key losses. That’s why the Celtics aren’t ramping up minutes for the remaining healthy stars — like Jayson Tatum who only appeared in a little more than 30 minutes in the loss.

Check out CLNS Media’s coverage of the game below.

The Garden Report —

Why weren’t the Celtics flowing offensively?

Toughness isn’t exclusively for defense, the Celtics didn’t show enough aggression or assertiveness on offense to overpower Utah’s defense.

Are injuries chipping away at the Celtics?

Inside the locker room —

Brad Stevens: “We want to try to limit those 40-minute games as much as we can.”

Stevens spoke on rotations, bench play and utilizing Tatum less than Semi Ojeleye in the loss.

Jayson Tatum: “Playoffs is most important, so it makes sense. I’m 22, I’ll be alright.”

Tatum scored 18 points on 7-of-19 shooting, discussed Stevens’ management of his minutes and how the Jazz contained him through the middle of the game.

Kemba Walker: “They might as well cancel the game for that ... but at the end of the day (coronavirus) is getting serious.”

Walker responds to the possibility that NBA teams could play without fans if coronavirus outbreaks around the US worsen.

Marcus Smart: “Our effort was ****.”

Smart spoke to Daniel Theis throughout the game about consistently rolling and said the entire team is open to each other through their worst moments. The Celtics had one of those against Utah, where Smart saw their effort die down midway through the game.

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