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"Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans". Ease up on Jayson Tatum.

 I can't believe I am resurrecting the much-despised Rick Pitino's rant skewering Boston fans, but I felt it necessary

(Pitino) “Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish is not walking through that door. And if you expect them to walk through that door, they’re going to be gray and old. ....the only thing we can do is work hard, and all the negativity that’s in this town sucks."

In his rant, Pitino was shielding himself from criticism coming from Boston sports fans, and it failed - as did Rick with his stint in Beantown. Now we have a mastermind at the helm in Brad Stevens and a young, somewhat-inexperienced, but focused, coach in Joe Mazzulla - trying desperately to nail Banner 18.

This present Celtics team is good - very good. But they just can't seem to get the job done when that Banner 18 seems within their grasp. Right now, with one exception (Kristaps Porzingis), they are healthy. They are seasoned and skilled. But their occasional mental lapses might kill their Title chances once again.

In the eyes of some, Jayson Tatum, as the on-court leader, has to shoulder a large part of the blame. I disagree. Donovan Mitchell was the hero in Cleveland's win in Game-2, while Tatum, with somewhat-similar stats, was criticized. 

Jayson is not Larry Bird - not yet - maybe never. Tatum is top-5 in the NBA this season, while Bird, in my mind, is top-5 NBA, All-Time (per Lisa Lane McCarty):

Idk, I’m frustrated. I love Tatum but if he wants to be the leader of this team and secure his place as a future Celtic legend, he needs to take over these types of games. Like Bird did, as one example. He had a decent game with 25 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists but 25 points didn’t get it done last night. He needed 40.     

Lisa is my daughter, and now a successful professional woman. I can no longer tell her to turn the TV off and go to bed after getting emotional while watching a Celtics game that is heading in the wrong direction. Jayson Tatum is a treasure for Boston fans - improves his game every season - and probably has not reached his ceiling yet. He needs our support.

Oh, and Lisa, Jayson had six assists, not four - and one steal with only one turnover. My congrats to my son-in-law, Jim McCarty, for his perseverance and patience with Lisa's emotions during these Celtics playoff games, and my condolences for your first Mothers Day without your mom


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