Drew Hanlen Sounds Off on Celtics Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Getty MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 07: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies handles the ball against Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics during the first half of the game at FedExForum on November 07, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

Jayson Tatum has been playing some of the best basketball of his career to begin the Boston Celtics’ new season and is earning plaudits from around the league.

Following Tatum’s 39-point, three rebounds, and two assist night against the Memphis Grizzlies on November 7, Tatum’s world-renowned skills trainer, Drew Hanlen, took to Twitter to heap praise onto the St. Louis native.

“All credit to JT. He worked his a** off this summer to improve his driving/finishing,” Hanlen wrote in a reply to @DanKelley66 following the game.

Since the new season began, Tatum has shown an improvement in his ability to finish around the rim and in drawing shooting fouls, allowing him to get to the free-throw line at will, and punish teams without the defense in his way. According to Cleaning The Glass, Tatum is converting 81% of his shots within four feet of the rim and is drawing fouls on 14.5% of his shots converting his free-throw attempts at an 87.6% clip. 

Tatum Explains Strong Start to The Season

Speaking to the media in his post-game press conference on November 7, Tatum went into detail regarding his hot start to the year, and why he’s been able to hit such an elite level so early into the season.

“I don’t think I’ve necessarily started out this well to start a season off…Off-season workouts, Nick (Sang) gets all the credit, as he should – not from a basketball standpoint, just the weight room. Changing my diet, I’m just getting older, and understanding the game a little bit better than I did a few years ago,” Tatum said.

Tatum has participated in 10 games so far this season, providing Boston with averages of 31.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, and four assists per game while shooting 49.8% from the field and 37% from deep – so, it’s no wonder why we’re starting to hear chatter regarding a potential MVP push from the 24-year-old wing.

Kendrick Perkins Heaps Praise on Tatum

Kendrick Perkins knows what it’s like to play for the Celtics and all of the pressures that come with being part of such a storied franchise. However, that hasn’t stopped the 2008 NBA Champion from being critical of the Celtics when he’s felt it to be justified.

Yet, following Boston’s latest victory, Perkins, who was appearing on NBC Sports Boston’s post-game show, spoke glowingly of Tatum and the performances he’s been providing his team to begin the new basketball year.

“If you wanna talk about the MVP race, it’s Giannis (Antetokounmpo), Jayson Tatum, Luka (Doncic), Donovan Mitchell, and Ja Morant in my opinion, who are front runners for MVP, in no particular order…Jayson Tatum, with this right here, this was a statement game against another superstar-caliber player, in his building, walked in there with his muddy shoes on, didn’t take them off at the door, and tracked mud all through that man’s house. That’s what happened,” Perkins said.

Tatum and the Celtics will be back in action on Wednesday, November 9, when they will face off against the 3-8 Detroit Pistons – a game that proved difficult for last season’s Celtics as they struggled to deal with the physicality and intensity that the Pistons bring to the court.