Knicks’ RJ Barrett sparked Jayson Tatum and Celtics to NBA Finals run

On Sunday, the Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat in a Game 7 that came down to the wire. The Celtics had the lead for the whole game, but the Heat cut the lead to two in the final minutes. Ultimately, Boston pulled out the win and is now set to compete for its 18th championship banner, and Celtics fans may have New York Knicks star RJ Barrett to thank for this.

During Jayson Tatum’s post-game interview, he told the media about what was the lowest moment for him before Boston’s season shifted.

“The toughest moment for me was blowing that 25-point lead in New York and then RJ Barrett hit the game-winning shot over me. That was the lowest moment for me. I think shortly after that things started to turn around.”

New York Knicks’ RJ Barrett played a part in the Celtics’ mid-season shift 

At the beginning of the 2021-22 season, the Celtics were off to a bad start. Analysts and fans were saying Jaylen Brown and Tatum could not play together. Even Marcus Smart called out Tatum and Brown for relying too much on isolation ball and not trusting their teammates.

Boston lost games that it should have easily won. The 25-point blown lead that Tatum mentioned in his post-game interview was not the only lead that the team blew, but it was the worst one during the regular season.

Tatum’s former teammate Evan Fournier scored a career-high 41 points and shot 10-of-14 from three to help lead New York’s comeback. With 1.5 seconds left, Barrett, who was defended by Tatum, delivered the dagger that won the game and fueled the Celtics’ run to the NBA Finals.

Boston went on to secure the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 51-31 record, swept the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round of the playoffs, and then beat both the Milwaukee Bucks and Heat in seven games.

The Celtics’ path to the NBA Finals was not an easy one, but they still managed to make it there despite the problems they had at the beginning of the year. They will now compete against the Golden State Warriors for the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, starting with Game 1 on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.