Jayson Tatum’s unexpected reaction to Caleb Martin’s harsh foul

Jayson Tatum’s unexpected reaction to Caleb Martin’s harsh foul

‘I wasn’t hurt. You get hit like that, you just get up.’

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Jayson Tatum was hit hard midair by the Heat’s Caleb Martin for a technical foul. After falling on his back, he got right up to shoot his free throws. Postgame, Tatum reacts to the hit and how he’s feeling physically.

BOSTON — Caleb Martin’s hard foul on Jayson Tatum drew the immediate ire of Celtics players (particularly Jaylen Brown) in the final minute of Game 1 of Boston’s first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat.

But Tatum himself didn’t seem particularly perturbed.

In fact, the Celtics star immediately got to his feet after his hard fall, almost as if to prove to the anxious TD Garden crowd that he wasn’t hurt. As players from both teams engaged in a mini scuffle that resulted in technical fouls for Brown and Martin, Tatum strode confidently toward the other end to shoot his free throws.

Tatum’s scary fall was perhaps the only concerning moment of the Celtics’ relatively breezy 114-94 victory, but the Celtics star insisted he was “fine” after the game and avoided any sort of injury.

“I went up to get the rebound and got knocked out of the air, fell, and got right up to go shoot some free throws,” Tatum said of Martin’s foul.

While some (including NBC Sports Boston’s Brian Scalabrine) viewed Martin’s collision with Tatum as a dirty play, Tatum had a more matter-of-fact interpretation of the incident.

“Just understanding it’s playoff basketball, a physical game, playing against a physical team, s–t’s gonna happen,” Tatum said, as seen in the video above. “It’s not the last time I’m probably going to get hit like that or fouled in this series.

Jayson Tatum has matter-of-fact reaction to Caleb Martin's hard foul -  Yahoo Sports

“I wasn’t hurt. You get hit like that, you just get up. And I knew we were in the bonus, so go down there and knock my free throws down.”

Tatum did in fact hit both free throws to put the finishing touches on a 23-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist triple-double — the first of his postseason career. It’s a great sign for the Celtics that he avoided injury late in Game 1, and he also deserves credit for keeping his composure during a situation that could have escalated even further had he reacted more strongly.

Boston has a significant edge over a Miami team playing without Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier, and one of the Heat’s only hopes for making this a series is to play physical and try to throw the Celtics off their game. It’s safe to say those efforts failed Sunday.

Game 2 is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, with NBC Sports Boston’s Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine on the call and coverage beginning at 6 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live.

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