Eddie House likes Jayson Tatum’s ‘aggressiveness’ vs. Cavs

Morning Sports Update

“When you see him lead the team and the lead the game in rebounding, that let me know his [level of] aggressiveness.”

Jayson Tatum Celtics
Jayson Tatum lays it in during the Celtics’ Game 4 win over the Cavaliers. Danielle Parhizkaran/Globe Staff

Eddie House appreciates Jayson Tatum’s style: Though he once again didn’t have the best of nights shooting the basketball, Jayson Tatum is still doing everything he can to will the Celtics to victory.

The 26-year-old is a combined 4 for 16 from 3-point range in his last two games against Cleveland, but Boston has emerged with wins in both contests. Tatum also led the Celtics with 33 points each night.

In the view of former Celtic Eddie House, speaking on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage on Monday night, Tatum is trending in the right direction even if he still isn’t hitting as many shots as he normally would.

One stat that caught House’s eye: Rebounds. Tatum totaled a game-high 11 rebounds (having also managed a game-high 13 rebounds in Game 3).

“You can’t get a rebound unless you’re aggressive,” said House. “Is Jayson Tatum’s strong suit rebounding? No. What’s his strong suit? Scoring.

“So, when you see him lead the team and the lead the game in rebounding, that let me know his [level of] aggressiveness. That let me know that he’s locked in.”

House noted that Tatum’s natural ability to score will return as long as he keeps up his aggression. The short-term statistics showing his less efficient shooting percentages don’t concern House.

“I care about the fact that he’s going out there and he’s trying to do it,” said House of Tatum getting to the rim more often.

“To me, it all starts from the mentality,” House added. “His mentality is, ‘I’m aggressive, I’m getting downhill, I’m trying to attack the ball.”

Trivia: The Celtics have never blown a 3-1 lead in the team’s playoff history. Boston has come close on multiple occasions, however, including the 1966 NBA Finals against the Lakers. That year, the Celtics let Games 5 and 6 slip away, necessitating a Game 7 before finally clinching the title with a 95-93 win.

Can you name the two leading scorers in that series?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Both were Lakers for their entire careers, and both are in the Hall of Fame.

Scores and schedules:

The Celtics held off a feisty Cavaliers team missing Donovan Mitchell 102-97 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday. Now possessing a 3-1 series lead, Boston can close things out at TD Garden on Wednesday.

The Red Sox lost to the Rays 5-3. Boston and Tampa play again tonight at Fenway Park at 7:10 p.m.

Tonight, the Bruins play with their season on the line in Game 5 of the second-round series against the Panthers. The puck drops at Amerant Bank Arena at 7 p.m.

Also tonight, PWHL Boston plays its first home playoff game in team history, facing Montreal at the Tsongas Center at 7 p.m.

Elsewhere, the Connecticut Sun host Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever in the first game of the WNBA season tonight at Mohegan Sun Arena at 8 p.m.

More from Boston.com:

Never tell this fan the odds: During the Mariners’ 6-2 win over the Royals on Monday, a fan caught Josh Rojas’s foul ball during the bottom of the first inning. Then, one the very next pitch, Rojas fouled the ball off again to the exact same location. The fan made a second catch, holding aloft his two souvenirs.

On this day: In 1981, the Celtics clinched the NBA title with a 102-91 Game 6 win over the Rockets. Larry Bird led Boston with 27 points and 13 rebounds, celebrating afterward with one of Red Auerbach’s famous cigars (shown here in the iconic Frank O’Brien Boston Globe photograph).

1981 Celtics Championship Larry Bird Red Auerbach Boston Globe

Daily highlight: Blue Jays centerfielder Daulton Varsho made an incredible catch at the wall to rob a home run in an eventual 3-2 win over the Orioles.

Trivia answer: Jerry West, Elgin Baylor

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