Celtics’ Jayson Tatum Needs To Transform Game In This Way

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Boston Celtics have had an up and down start to the 2021-22 NBA season. They are currently 7-8 as they have been unable to put things together consistently on both ends of the court.

The team has been without Jaylen Brown for seven games, which has played a part in the struggles. Without him, there has been a lot of pressure and attention put on his All-Star teammates, Jayson Tatum.

Tatum has solid counting stats, averaging 24.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. However, it is his efficiency that has been troubling at the onset of the season.

Tatum had a tough shooting game on opening night against the New York Knicks. He was 7-for-30 in the game, including 2-of-15 from the 3-point line. Following the game, Tatum discussed his performance, saying he has at least one of those per season.

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Sometimes, it just isn’t your night and that is what Tatum figured was the case for him. That looked to be the case, as Tatum responded with three straight games knocking down at least 50 percent of his shots. But, that opening night game has been closer to the norm for Tatum this season than the 50 percent shooting games.

Tatum’s shooting percentages have been abysmal this season. He has been an inefficient, high-volume scorer this season, making 39.6 percent of his shots overall and 32.5 percent of his 3-point attempts. Both numbers are well below his career averages of 45.3 percent and 39.1 percent.

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Not having Brown in the lineup could contribute to that, as defenses are keying in on Tatum and daring his teammates to beat them. But, as was pointed out at Bleacher Report, it is his shot selection that has deteriorated this season.

“History says this slump won’t last, but Tatum can hasten his escape from it by upping his aggressiveness and changing his shot profile. His average shot distance is up to a career-high 15.1 feet, per Basketball-Reference, and the percent of his shots coming within three feet of the basket is down to a career-low 19.2. His 4.8 free-throw attempts per 36 minutes are his fewest in three seasons.”

It is going to be extremely difficult to score efficiently taking the kinds of shots that Tatum is. Could this be him adjusting to a new scheme with Ime Udoka being in his first season coaching the team?

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Whatever the reason is for Tatum’s changed shot profile, an adjustment is in store. He is too talented of a player to not take full advantage of the skill set he has. 

Settling for long jumpers is exactly what opposing defenses want him to do when they play the Boston Celtics. They know it will be difficult containing an aggressive, attacking Jayson Tatum as his athleticism is just too much to contend with consistently at the rim.

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