Sad departure: 2 key players depart Celtics due to

Jayson Tatum has message for reporters about potentially winning NBA Finals

The Boston Celtics are one game away from raising their 18th championship banner. But Jayson Tatum is already thinking about doing it again next year.

The Celtics won 106-99 over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 3 of the NBA Finals to take a 3-0 lead in the series. No team has ever come back from down 3-0 in any series — let alone the NBA Finals.

Tatum spoke to the media on Thursday with the series all but wrapped up.

One reporter told Tatum that if Boston completes the sweep of the Mavericks, their team would have the best single-season playoff winning percentage in Celtics history. The 2023-24 Celtics have gone 15-2 since the postseason began.

Tatum acknowledged that the milestone would be “really cool” but already imagined how some members of the media would spin the narrative against them.

“I didn’t know that. That would be really cool. But you guys probably would say we didn’t play anybody to go here. So we’ve got to do it again next year,” Tatum said.

The Celtics certainly had a much easier path to the NBA Finals compared to the Mavericks. All-Stars Jimmy Butler, Donovan Mitchell, and Tyrese Haliburton — the best players on each of Boston’s previous opponents — all missed games due to injuries. Even Luka Doncic has been visibly hobbled throughout the Finals after going through a Western Conference gauntlet.

But the Celtics haven’t had a clean bill of health either given Kristaps Porzingis’ multiple injuries throughout the playoffs.

At the end of the day, securing a championship is all that matters.

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