Jayson Tatum says Celtics won’t need ‘a hero speech’ to be ready for Game 6 vs. Warriors, ‘Everybody is going to be ready to play’

BOSTON — The Larry O’Brien Trophy and plenty of champagne will be held at the TD Garden Thursday night.

None of this is for the Celtics.

Boston can’t earn a banner or pop a cork in Game 6, they can only stop Golden State from doing both. The Warriors lead the best-of-seven NBA Finals 3-2. The Celtics must win the 9 p.m. game to force a return trip to San Francisco for Game 7.

Jayson Tatum expected the Celtics to be ready.

“We are all professionals and adults. We know what’s at stake. Everyone in that locker room should and will understand what we have to do, what’s at stake,” he said. “So there shouldn’t be a heroic speech or anything like that. Everyone should be juiced and ready to play. I’m not even going to say if they aren’t then it’s a problem. Everyone will be ready to play. I’m not worried about that at all.”

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At the end of their pre-Game 6 practice session, the Celtics didn’t look concerned that they were one game away from elimination. Marcus Smart danced to Michael Jackson and the team was generally easygoing in their final preparation – win or lose – at TD Garden for the 2021-22 season.

The Celtics are obviously unbeaten – 3-0 – if they face elimination this year. They beat the Milwaukee Bucks twice from a 3-2 deficit and then held off the Heat on the road in Game 7. The warriors are 0-3 with a chance to win on the street.

But Boston also hadn’t lost two straight games all postseason before Golden State won Games 4 and 5, so past successes aren’t necessarily a predictor of the future. But it gave the Celtics some solace.

“We’ve been doing that all season simply for the simple reason that we were really at the back end catching everyone else. We were kind of forced to play with our backs to the wall,” Smart said. “We’ve really gotten used to it, where it’s kind of a part of us, in our nature now. It’s nothing new to us. It’s a different game. It’s another tough game. We are in our house.”

Grant Williams said the Celtics had no choice but to embrace the moment.

“We have been in this position before. It’s one of those things where you embrace it,” he said. “It’s exciting. That’s what you really live for. … We’re going to get out of here and do what we have to do.”

Jaylen Brown said he’s looking forward to it.

“I’m looking forward to Game 6 on our home ground in front of our home fans. Should be a lot of fun,” Brown said. “It’s something we have to remember sometimes. It’s so much pressure. There is a lot of fun in this game too. I look forward to having fun.”

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