Celtics Jayson Tatum Put on Blast For Glaring Flaw

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Getty Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum might have led the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals and made an All-NBA first team last season, but that hasn’t stopped one Eastern Conference coach from detailing a glaring flaw in his game.

According to the coach, who spoke to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, Tatum needs to work on his post game if he wants to be on the same level as superstars such as Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant.

“Playing in the post. No question. It’s a gaping hole with him and he can get around it because there is less emphasis on the post in today’s game. But the real superstar forwards, like KD, like LeBron, like Giannis, like Kawhi, they’re all finding ways to get themselves easy buckets in the post. You’re going to get size mismatches if you are that level of player and you have to be able to take advantage of that. If he wants to get to their level, he has to work on that. No question.

It is just the most obvious aspect with him because he really has not gotten better at it at all during his career. He has never been a good post-up player. He has not tried to make it a bigger part of his game. It really showed in the playoffs, that is where you get more half-court basketball and that post-up game can be such a weapon. The Bucks had Jrue Holiday on Tatum in the post and Tatum could not do anything with him. Jrue is an excellent defender but he is 6-foot-3. Tatum has five inches. You absolutely must be able to exploit that. That’s the next thing he has to add,” The coach told Deveney.

When checking Instat’s tracking data, Heavy found that Tatum averaged 2.1 post up’s per game last season, but only averaged 1.9 points per possession – yet with his size, scoring ability, and passing vision, it’s clear the St. Louis native could become a beast with his back to the basket. However, it’s not like the 24-year-old isn’t already putting the work in down on the low block.

Questions Remain About Duo’s Potential

Despite taking the Golden State Warriors to six games last season, questions still remain about the ceilings of Tatum and Jaylen Brown – something which will directly impact the Celtics’ chances of winning a championship in the coming years.

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley recently wrote an article that listed Tatum and Brown’s continued growth as the Celtics’ biggest question mark, noting that they both need to continue developing in the coming seasons.

“On paper, this team has juggernaut potential, but could the Jays themselves have some untapped potential, too? That feels a tad greedy to ask, as they combined for more than 50 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists last season, but given the minuscule margin for error at the top, they might need to deliver more,” Buckley wrote.

In fairness, both Tatum and Brown have improved year-on-year since entering the league, and have already established themselves as some of the NBA’s premier talent. So, any further developments will simply move them closer to the top of the mountain in terms of where they rank among their peers for the best player at their position.

Semi Ojeleye Heaps Praise on Celtics’ Duo’s Mentality

During an exclusive interview with CelticsBlog, former Celtics wing Semi Ojeleye heaped praise on his former teammates, noting how both Tatum and Brown’s continued development is predicated on their vision of becoming some of the best players in the NBA.

“You can always tell that they have a vision of where they want to end up and how good they want to be. And you see this throughout their career, especially, you know, coming in with, JT and watching JB grow, even though he was in the league when I was. Like seeing their game grow, you can see that it’s part of their mentality and that’s both in how they approach the game physically and how they approach the game mentally,” Ojeleye said during the September 15 interview.

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Both Tatum and Brown have displayed exceptional work ethics throughout their career, so it’s fair to assume that Boston’s two star players will continue building on the weaknesses in their game – and if Tatum sees playing out of the post as an area of need, then we should expect to see him forcing the issue more next season.

But, its worth remembering that Tatum was arguably a top-five player last season, and as such, he may not deem playing out of the post to be a necessary skill – it is 2022 after all.

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