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My focus on Martin's hard foul on Tatum differs from most

 Where do I start? Flashback to Game-5 of the 1991 Celtics-Pacers playoff series. Larry Bird spent the night before the game in traction with a spine ailment - was there for opening tap - and during one play, hit his head on the floor so hard, his head bounced.

He was forced to head to the locker room with a fractured cheekbone, and possible concussion, but returned to the court with an astounding roar from the crowd. Boston took the game and the series as I watched every minute of the contest on TV.

Now to the present. I have rightfully been critical of Jayson Tatum for his frequent complaints to officials. But after the hard foul on him by Caleb Martin in Game-1 of the Celtics-Heat series - and Jayson's quick bounce-back from the floor - and what could have been a serious injury - I saw a guy that is ready to be an on-court leader for his team. That is my focus.

I am rightfully proud of Jayson - the entire Celtics team - and the coaches and execs. Not one of the folks connected with the franchise was nominated for the various NBA awards. So be it. What that shows to me is that this is a TEAM. Individuals willing to sacrifice accolades and awards for the ultimate prize - the 2024 Championship Trophy.

I just like this team - and the folks running it. The NBA can keep their individual awards. I fully understand that the Guys-in-Green still need some good luck to garner Banner 18, but I am proud of what they have become. Did I mention I love this crew?


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