Tatum isn’t exactly Mr. Clutch

Since Opening Day in baseball deserves to be capitalized, unlike opening day in the rest of the kingdom, this was intended to be an essay on the Red Sox’ inaugural step of the 162.

Instead, we’ll sum up those thoughts here:

Brayan Bello looked pretty good, a bit sloppy in spots, causing his pitch count to ring the bell at 84 pitches in five innings. Tighten that up and he could be a modern-day ironman and go six.

Rafael Devers reaffirmed his role as the Red Sox man in the clutch with the two-out, two-run homer in the third that put them on the board.

(As an aside, there were 28 home runs hit Thursday. Could MLB have injected a bit of juice into its baseballs?)

They were aggressive, if sometimes overly so, on the bases. They have more speed, they made no awful fielding mistakes.

So, the Red Sox tucked in New England at 1 a.m. with a 6-4 win.

Those who tossed and turned before a fitful sleep were clearly thinking more about the stink bomb provided by the Celtics to begin their evening.

For the second time this week, the championship-driven, best-record-in-the-NBA Boston Celtics lost to a collection of basketball mediocrity known as the Atlanta Hawks.

It doesn’t matter that the games were in Atlanta. A consensus pick to win it all could play such flotsam on Mars and should certainly do no worse than split.

When the Celtics blew a 30-point first-half lead Monday night that stood as their most annoying loss of the season.

It only took them until Thursday to toss that into history’s dustbin.

This one topped that collapse because it reaffirmed the Celtics’ refusal to accept the clear reality that handing the ball to Jayson Tatum in every last-minute opportunity to tie or win a game is going to fail almost two-thirds of the time.

That nugget of statistical appeared in several stories off the C’s overtime loss Thursday.

To be precise: In the last three seasons, Tatum is 10-for-37, including 2-for-11 this year, when shooting to tie or take the lead in the last minute of the fourth quarter or overtime.

The main reason for the 2023-24 Celtics’ presumed preeminence in the NBA is a roster littered with all-stars, present, past, or potentially future. Jaylen Brown – the man who drilled a jump shot to put the Celtics ahead in the waning seconds of OT Thursday – seems a reasonable man to utilize in designing a last-second play.

Forget Joe Mazzulla’s judgment as to when he should or should not call a time out. His refusal to acknowledge that giving the ball to someone other than Tatum in clutch situations is more baffling.

“Give JT the ball and have him make a play for us. He got a shot off, got a good look, but it didn’t go,” Mazzulla said.

Memo to Joe: The numbers don’t lie.