Nick Nurse blamed his team’s inability to keep Jayson Tatum quiet on the refereeing. According to him, the officials were too protective of the Celtics forward.
The Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 102-99 in an exciting game. The game was close for its entirety, and the Raptors even held an 8-point lead as they headed out of the 4th quarter. Marcus Smart knocked down 5 straight 3-pointers to bring the Celtics back up. The scoreline went from 78-70 at the start of the 4th to 86-82 early in the quarter.
Nick Nurse blames referees for giving too many free throws to Jayson Tatum
Despite the Toronto Raptors shooting only 6 fewer free throws than the Boston Celtics as a team, Nick Nurse had some qualms with the officiating. He said the referees needed to be a bit more lax about his team’s defense on Jayson Tatum, who shot 14 free throws (as many as the Raptors in total).
Nick Nurse was asked how frustrating it was to see Jayson Tatum take over.
“The only frustrating part about it is this: He shoots 14 free throws, which is as much as our whole team shoots. … They took very good care of him tonight.” pic.twitter.com/KvIgFS3RXc
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) September 2, 2020
Doubters will no doubt have their fair share of criticism on Nick Nurse’s take. Instead of blaming his shooters, who disappointed again shooting only 28% from 3 as a team, he tried to deflect the blame onto other factors. No team wins an NBA playoff series shooting below 30% from 3 when its opponents are shooting above league average.
The Toronto Raptors are now staring at an uphill battle. They must win 4 of their next 5 prospective matches to advance to the next round of playoffs.