Boston Celtics

Tatum pokes fun at Celtics' critics ahead of NBA Finals Game 4

The Celtics have a chance to make history in Game 4.

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The Boston Celtics don't just have a chance to win the NBA Finals on Friday night, they have an opportunity to make history if they beat the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4.

A Finals sweep would give the Celtics a 16-2 record in the 2024 playoffs.

It would be the second-best record in playoff history since the league adopted a best-of-seven format for all four rounds beginning in 2003. The Celtics also would be just the 11th team to win a championship with two or fewer losses in the playoffs.

A sweep would give the Celtics an 80-20 record this season, including the playoffs. Only the 1985-86 and 2007-08 Celtics have won more games in a season in franchise history. They both won 82 games, including the playoffs.

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum was asked Thursday at a press conference about his team's chance to make history, and he couldn't resist poking a little fun at the team's critics.

"I didn't know that. That would be really cool," Tatum told reporters, which you can watch in the video player above. "But you guys would probably say we didn't play anybody to get here. So we just gotta do it again next year."

One of the constant criticisms of this Celtics playoff run is that they haven't faced top competition, mostly due to some of their opponents' best players missing games because of injuries. But that is out of the Celtics' control, and if they beat the Mavericks, that would be an impressive accomplishment, especially since many experts picked Dallas to win the series.

Making history and becoming an all-time team would be pretty special for this group of Celtics players. This roster has been built so well. Boston has very few weaknesses, and Dallas is finding out first hand during the Finals. Even when the Celtics don't play their best -- and they haven't offensively for most of the series -- they are still capable of winning.

So while the potential for history is nice, the most important objective is just getting that fourth win in the Finals. Nothing else matters for a franchise that has been chasing Banner 18 for well over a decade.

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