It was a turnover filled outing for Jayson Tatum in the Boston Celtics 125-122 double overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of Wednesday’s Eastern Conference semifinal matchup.
But none of Tatum’s six giveaways were as perplexing as his errant pass to nobody off of a drive with under a minute remaining in regulation.
But upon further review, there’s a reason why Tatum could have mistaken Daniel Theis to be setting up shop deep in the corner of the floor. Instead, it was Nick Nurse who was closer to the pass. Yes, the Toronto Raptors head coach. Nurse had two feet on the boundary line, just a mere couple of feet away from Theis.
Interesting move here from Nick Nurse: pic.twitter.com/F0b3heqvKw— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) September 10, 2020
Didn't realize until after the game the reason Tatum passed to Nurse wasn't just because Nurse was standing out of the coach box, but he was literally standing in bounds in the corner.— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) September 10, 2020
"That was my fault. Can’t blame Nick Nurse. He’s not playing. It was my fault," Tatum said. pic.twitter.com/yHbyqn0OXw
Trying to make ultra quick decisions in a pressure-packed situation possibly could have led Tatum into thinking Theis was located where Nurse was, but Tatum put the blame on himself for the miscue instead of Nurse.
“I turned it over. That was my fault,” Tatum said. “Can’t blame Nick Nurse. He’s not playing. It’s my fault.”
Tatum’s teammate Jaylen Brown was a little less forgiving toward Nurse for getting a little too close to the action.
While Brown didn’t directly call out the Toronto coach, Brown did get in a subtle shot when he mentioned not once, but twice that coaching staffs need to keep their actions under control. And it doesn’t seem like he is speaking about his own coaches, but pointing the finger at Toronto’s bench.
"Grown men should be able to control themselves. Especially coaching staff." - Jaylen Brown #Celtics pic.twitter.com/IPR99Fxxbn— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) September 10, 2020
“I think it’s a lot of emotions, it’s very intense and some times things seem to go overboard at times,” Brown said. “Let’s keep it in check. Let’s keep it respectable and let’s keep playing basketball. Grown men should be able to control themselves, especially coaching staffs.”