After a long regular season and a treacherous postseason run, the Boston Celtics’ 2022 season has come to an end. The Golden State Warriors won Game 6 by a score of 103-90, earning their fourth NBA championship since 2015.
Jayson Tatum struggled with just 13 points in Game 6 as the Celtics stumbled to their third straight loss. As was the case throughout the playoffs, turnover problems and defensive rebound problems proved Boston’s weak points in their last game of the season.
During his post-game press conference, Celtics point guard Marcus Smart spoke about the team’s mindset and the hunger they will feel over the next year and beyond.
“We have seen what we are capable of. We got the taste. We wanted the whole thing. I know for sure that we will come back as a different team. We’re going to work hard, but this is going to hurt.” Cleverly explained.
Smart had nine points, six rebounds, nine assists and two steals in Game 6 on 4-on-12 shooting from the field and 1-on-2 shooting from behind the three-point line.
This was Boston’s first trip to the Finals since 2010, and now that they know they have what it takes, they’re desperate to do it again next season.
Smart’s teammate Jayson Tatum echoed his thoughts after the game, stating that Boston needs to improve next year if they want to win everything.
The Celtics superstar, who held his post-game press conference alongside Smart, said Boston needs to step it up a notch next year. He said it was difficult to get over the hump and the Celtics needed to keep pushing.
“It’s hard. It’s hard to get to that point and it’s even harder to get over the hump and win. … We have to take it to another level to do what we have to do. ” said Tatum.
Tatum ended Game 6 with a rather disappointing stat line. He dropped 13 points, three rebounds and seven assists on 6 of 18 shots from the floor and 1 of 4 shots from behind the three-point arc.
In addition to his comments on the game, Smart also addressed the doubters who had hated the Celtics all year.
Defensive Player of the Year sent a message to all the people who had doubts about Boston en route to her appearance at the Finals. He said Boston must continue to use that doubt as motivation.
“No one even had us here let alone in the playoffs… we went through hell to get here. We have to use that. It’s going to be tough… proud of this team, we didn’t reach our target but a lot of people, and a lot of you I’m sure, counted us out.” Said Smart.
Boston was a sub-.500 basketball team in mid-January but went all the way back. They finished the year as the second seed in the Eastern Conference and fought their way through to the NBA Finals. While they fell short, they certainly exceeded the expectations most people had of them.