NBA Legend Backs Jayson Tatum-Led Celtics’ Controversial Move Over Andre Drummond With Harsh Claim

Published 12/03/2023, 12:57 PM EST

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The NBA in-season tournament had brought fresh excitement to the game. With new rules like point differential taking precedence in qualifying, the Boston Celtics were merciless against Andre Drummond in a recent game. Although Jayson Tatum initially had doubts regarding the new rules, it looks like he has now come around to accept them.

As some people tried to defend Andre Drummond, former NBA veteran Eddie Johnson bashed Drummond while supporting the Celtics in doing their best.

The Celtics targeted Andre Drummond


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In a recent game between the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls, the Celtics kept fouling Andre Drummond intentionally, even when they were up by 32 points.

USA Today via Reuters

This was because the Celtics wanted to increase the point differential as much as possible so that they could place themselves in a better position in case they tied with another team in the points table.


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As some fans and players are still on edge regarding teams employing such techniques to get the win, former NBA player Eddie Johnson shared his unfiltered thoughts on Sirius XM NBA Radio.

Johnson said, “I am not going to make an excuse for somebody that shot 47% in their career from the free throw line and feel about Oh, I’m hurting their feelings… Boston was doing exactly what this tournament tells you to do.


As the teams have now started showing more interest in the in-season tournament as it is concluding, these types of strategies will be considered normal and teams should be ready to face it.

Jayson Tatum was opposed to the idea at first

As the new rule is forcing teams to not show mercy to their opponents, Jayson Tatum expressed his disapproval of the new rule a few days prior to their game against the Bulls. Tatum revealed he was not a fan of it during an interview.


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When players keep trying to rack up points while the game is already sealed, it is disrespectful to the opponents. Devin Booker has also expressed similar concerns regarding this.

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But as time has passed, Tatum is more receptive to why teams are doing this. The Celtics have made it to the knockout stages in the in-season tournament games and will face the Indiana Pacers on 4 December to get a chance to compete in Las Vegas.

What do you think of the new rules for the in-season tournament? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


Written by:

Rijin Varghese


One take at a time

Rijin is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Specializing in the technical aspects of the game, keeps a close eye on the three principles of coaching of Gregg Popovich: Humility, Discipline, and Determination. That same attention to detail made him a big fan of the reigning Finals MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.
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Edited by:

Caroline Joseph