The way he plays the game, his demeanor ...
Tatum scored 24 for Boston, who had been bidding to make the National Basketball Association finals for the first time since 2010, while Horford added 17.
LeBron James's affection towards Jayson Tatum is even more remarkable when you realize that he did this to him earlier in the game. The Celtics have more playmakers and two-way players than the Cavaliers.
"I've worked my [butt] off each day since January 9, 2012, to get back on this court and now compete for a championship", Green told reporters during a contemplative interview session following the Cavaliers' 87-79 series-clinching win over the Boston Celtics.
"We can enjoy one without tearing down one".
The jersey featured front and center belongs to the Toronto Raptors.
The Celtics came into Game 7 of the ECF with a ideal 10-0 record at home - including three convincing wins over Cleveland. This Boston team had gone as far as they could. Still, Boston's lone healthy All-Star, Al Horford, certainly showed he deserved that honor in the postseason.
One last hurdle was added Saturday when the Cavs ruled Kevin Love out for Sunday with concussion-like symptoms.
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"He's unbelievable", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. He reminded everyone of that fact throughout the playoffs. In all, 24 different players were on the roster during the season. Tatum, who the Boston Celtics drafted after trading down from the No1 overall pick, was something of an unknown quantity.
Let's start with the obvious: There's a certain playoff mystique about the Celtics. The experience gained by both Tatum and 21-year-old Jaylen Brown should pay enormous dividends down the road, especially as each matures into the stars they're on the road to becoming.
Behind it all was Stevens, who knew exactly how to put the pieces together. You never look forward to facing LeBron but you definitely fear him in a close game as the clock is melting away.
The only way it would appear Cleveland would have a chance would be if James can summon his highest level, the kind that perhaps no other player can reach - and then do it three more times.
"We just couldn't quite knock them down, and to no fault of anybody". They thought they could win this year.
It's a process, to steal a phrase, and the Celtics accelerated theirs this year. The feelgood story is over. He also had eight turnovers, though, and didn't even come out for halftime warmups because he wanted to use his time "to recalibrate and catch my wind again", he said. Plus - as Isaiah Thomas learned - Ainge isn't afraid to trade.
The Celtics gave their fans a ride to remember, and although it ended short of the ultimate goal, Boston will only be better having experienced this run. You got to be able to get down and get dirty.