Call for Jayson Tatum …

Ah, such luck. With Game 5 of the NBA Finals scheduled for Monday, we have an extra day to mull over the Celtics’ collapse in Game 4.

They should be looking to land a haymaker to the Warriors on Monday night in San Francisco. They should lead the series 3-1.

They should be swaggering onto the floor, displaying that special brand of confidence that is unique to champions-in-waiting.

Instead, they are anxious to wipe Game 4’s debacle from their memory.

That also is a trait reserved for presumptive champions.

Meanwhile, their fans are split into separate camps:

Those who now see nothing but cloudy skies ahead.

Those who are avoiding friends and family who aren’t Celtics and find such fanaticism amusing.

Those who are steadfast in their trust that the Celtics are the better team.

The latter should be admired for their loyalty. It’s hard to believe that their optimism didn’t escape Game 4 without at least a dent or two.

At the worst possible times Friday night, the Celtics’ performance flashed back to the gory days of November and December.

That cannot be disputed. Most notably, they were outscored 10-0 in the final 92 seconds. By that point, they resumed their most maddening habit, the one that seemed to have been exorcised over the last five months.

Their offense consisted of racing down the floor, with four men standing one toe short of the 3-point arc, awaiting their opportunity to fire at will.

Mostly, they suffered from the disappearance of their best player.

The line says that Jayson Tatum scored 23 points and had 11 rebounds. He also hit eight of 23 field goal attempts and made six turnovers. In the second half he scored just seven points.

When your best player is reduced to a shadow, your team’s ability to win goes with him.

This isn’t to suggest that Tatum’s abilities have been lost forever. But they certainly have occasionally gone AWOL during this playoff run.

And unlike many professional athletes, Tatum has demonstrated a willingness to let the buck stop with him.

“I got to be better,” he said after the game. “I know I’m impacting the game in other ways, but I got to be more efficient, shoot the ball better, finish at the rim better.

“… It’s on me.”

Let’s hope he remembers that Monday night – and can find his old self.

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