Game 3 in Boston turned out to be a humbling experience for the Celtics, but Jayson Tatum ‘s unexplained absence at a crucial time in the game certainly caught attention more than anything else.
Jayson Tatum and Co couldn’t get it done in Game 3. They failed to go one-up against the Miami Heat in their first game back in TD Garden.
After stealing Game 2 in such a dominating fashion in Miami, this was expected to be a game that the Celtics would run away with. But the Heat looked like the team that had the momentum.
Led by Bam Adebayo’s aggressive approach in this game, which was due for the series, Miami was 21 points clear of C’s in the first quarter itself.
Bam Adebayo had a MONSTER performance in Game 3:
Heat win Game 3 and now lead this series 2-1. pic.twitter.com/77SD2g0arP
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 22, 2022
But the Celtics came back hard. They didn’t lose any quarter after that, led by Jaylen Brown’s tremendous offensive burst that kept Boston in the hunt while Tatum struggled to find his strides.
Jayson Tatum might have had a Paul Pierce like situation in the Game 3 loss
With just under five and a half minutes remaining and his team trailing 84-93 in the game, Tatum went out for Payton Pritchard and didn’t come back in the game for the next 90 seconds in the game clock.
His absence from the court and even the arena was much longer than a minute and a half as Heat also took a timeout in between, and so fans in TD Garden began wondering where is their MVP when they need him the most. FS1 analyst Nick Wright had his own theory on it.
So can someone explain what happened to Tatum + his reaction + him missing approximately 90 seconds to me without using the words “Paul Pierce” and “wheelchair”?
— nick wright (@getnickwright) May 22, 2022
Nick is referring to Paul Pierce’s famous wheelchair incident, where the Celtics legend without any injury left the game in a wheelchair because he had reportedly pooped his pants in Game 1 of the 2008 Finals. NBA Twitter agreed with his take.
Damn Tatum really just took a poop break. That building is cursed
— Evan (@evvington) May 22, 2022
Did Smart and Tatum poop their pants too?!? keeping the Celtics tradition alive 🤷🏻♂️
— Tim L (@bigtimp) May 22, 2022
Tatum just had his lunch stolen so he took the Paul Pierce route and faked an injury so he could poop his pants in peace
— Elvis (@KingCoyne_) May 22, 2022
As the Heat got their home advantage back with one more game to play in Boston before returning to Miami for Game 5, they’d have all the confidence and momentum for Game 4 on Monday.