Just under five minutes remained in Monday’s Game 5 when a slight confrontation took place: Jayson Tatum, preparing to take a practice shot as the Celtics walked to the huddle for a timeout, was being impeded by Draymond Green and trailed by fellow Warrior Gary Payton II.
It was the sort of hounding, get-under-your-skin tactic that Green, in particular, is infamous for. And it prompted Tatum to hold onto the ball all the way to his seat on the bench, as he refused to let Green have it.
Tatum, who shot 1-for-5 in the decisive fourth period, essentially took his ball and went home in that sequence. And in a way, that’d be a much safer, better strategy than what ultimately played out and lost the game for the Celtics in Game 5.