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Charles Barkley and Vince Carter Name Jayson Tatum’s Biggest Flaw as Celtics Navigate Kristaps Porzingis’ Injury

Advait Jajodia

Charles Barkley and Vince Carter Name Jayson Tatum’s Biggest Flaw as Celtics Navigate Kristaps Porzingis’ Injury

Following a win over the shorthanded New York Knicks in seven games, the Indiana Pacers are now set to face the Boston Celtics in their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 10 years. Tyrese Haliburton and co.’s deep run in the postseason has been impressive. But, the entire basketball community has almost unanimously backed the Celtics to win the series. Despite being the favorites, Charles Barkley and Vince Carter revealed one flaw in Jayson Tatum that could affect Joe Mazzulla’s boys later.

Kristaps Porziņģis suffered a calf injury during Game 4 of the first-round series and has been sidelined since then. With no return date set for Porzingis yet, Vince Carter believes that a lot of the center’s duties will have to be fulfilled by Jayson Tatum.

According to Carter, JT might not be able to pull these duties off since he seems to “settle”. However, in the absence of the Latvian, the former Duke Blue Devil has to be in “attack mode” and be aggressive on both ends of the floor.

“I think, if there is no Porzingis, it falls on Tatum. What I mean is, sometimes he gets into situations where he settles… If there is no Porzingis, he’s going to have to be in attack mode, continue putting pressure on the defense, drawing fouls, getting to the free throw line,” Vince Carter said.

Apart from agreeing with his co-panel member, Charles Barkley also claimed that the Boston Celtics wouldn’t be able to win the championship without Kristaps Porziņģis. While the Celtics might get past the Indiana Pacers in “six or seven games”, defeating either of the two Western Conference contenders–the Minnesota Timberwolves or the Dallas Mavericks–seems like a difficult job.

“I’mma probably pick the Boston Celtics… The Celtics are not gonna win the championship without Porzingis and this series, this is a six or seven games series.”

“I agree with you, he (Tatum) settles,” Barkley said.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Kristaps Porziņģis will continue to be out of the lineup for at least the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals. Even though Al Horford has done a remarkable job filling in for the Latvian, Myles Turner is expected to dominate the matchup.

It’ll be interesting to see how Rick Carlisle capitalizes against the Porziņģis-less Celtics. The Pacers will hope to win one of the first two games (in KP’s absence) at TD Garden and travel back to Gainbridge Fieldhouse and clinch a lead.

While it sounds easy, the Tyrese Haliburton-led squad will be fully prepared for the All-Star duo of Jaylen Brown-Jayson Tatum to come out with all guns blazing.

Post Edited By:Sameen Nawathe

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Advait Jajodia

Advait Jajodia


Advait Jajodia, a seasoned NBA journalist, has had a passion for the game for over a decade. His journey from admiring Kobe Bryant's precision to being in awe of Stephen Curry's long-range mastery instilled a profound understanding of basketball. With a background as a two-time National-level player, Advait uses his experience on the hardwood to offer insightful analysis. Over three years of dedicated sports journalism has equipped the 21-year-old with a unique perspective, reflected in his prolific portfolio of 3,700+ articles.

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