The Boston Celtics just announced that Jayson Tatum is out for tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers due to right shoulder soreness. This will be the first game that Tatum will miss this season.
The 21-year-old missed just two games last season, both in the final five contests.
Jayson Tatum is currently averaging 16.1 points and 6.2 rebounds on 45.2 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from 3-point range in 31.1 minutes over 67 games. He had a relatively quiet scoring game on Saturday’s 120-107 road win against the Lakers, finishing with just six points along with five rebounds and five assists on 2 of 7 shooting in 27 minutes.
Tatum has solid numbers but many expected more from Tatum this season after his spectacular playoff run last year, which included poster slam on LeBron James. There have been improvements from his rookie season but Tatum hasn’t really broken out. Perhaps the expectations ahead of his second-year were unfair but he certainly has the talent to be a dominant scorer and an All-Star-caliber player in the near future.
The Celtics have won the first three games of their current California road trip and they visit the Clippers tonight. Boston is just one game behind Philadelphia and Indiana for third place in the Eastern Conference.
Celtics Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Clippers
*Notates expected starter
C: Al Horford*, Aron Baynes, Guerschon Yabusele
PF: Marcus Morris*, Daniel Theis, Semi Ojeleye
SF: Jaylen Brown*, Gordon Hayward
SG: Marcus Smart*, Brad Wanamaker
PG: Kyrie Irving*, Terry Rozier
With Tatum out, the Celtics could start Jaylen Brown at small forward so that Gordon Hayward can keep his sixth man role. Brown had eight points on 3 of 12 shooting in 21 minutes against the Lakers but he had scored in double figures in his previous four games and he’s averaging 12.8 points in 25.2 minutes over his last five games.
Hayward will likely come off the bench and see more playing time, he exploded for 30 points in 28 minutes in the 128-95 win against the Warriors last Tuesday and he’s averaging 19.0 points in his last three games.
The Clippers are playing extremely well, they’re fighting for playoff positioning and they have a talented roster with a deep bench, so the Celtics need Brown and Gordon Hayward to be at their best now that Tatum won’t be available tonight.