ESPN Analyst Drops Truth Bomb on Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Getty Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum struggled to perform during the Boston Celtics NBA Finals series against the Golden State Warriors, well, by his lofty standards at least.

Still, since the Celtics fell short of banner 18, there has been a ton of discussion surrounding Tatum’s inability to take control of the series, leading to a multitude of analysts claiming the budding superstar still has a way to go before being considered one of the best players in the NBA.

“Jayson Tatum did not play well in the NBA Finals. He was outplayed by Golden State’s best player… and for Boston to win that series, their best player needed to be the best player on the floor often enough for them to get to four before Golden State got to four. This is a team expecting now to win it all and Jayson Tatum did not play well when they got to that final stage. He’s gonna have to answer that. Regardless of what he does in the regular season, people are gonna be waiting to see… will he be better than he was last year and help lead Boston to a championship?” ESPN’S Tim Legler said during a July 21 recording of NBA Today.

Tatum averaged 25.6 points, 6.2 assists, and 6.7 rebounds throughout the Celtics post-season run, shooting 42.6% from the field and 39.3% from deep.

LeBron James Defends Tatum’s Performance

While sections of the media and Celtics fanbase have taken turns to discuss Tatum’s shortcomings, it would seem that LeBron James was impressed by the St. Louis natives overall playoff performances.

Speaking on his most recent episode of Uninterrupted, LeBron spoke glowingly about Tatum’s post-season performance, and even compared Tatum’s struggles to his own NBA Finals debut.

“Jayson Tatum is a beast. He didn’t play to his standards, but to the regular s*** standards that everybody, only people that’s comfortable. Like, man, he had a hell of a season, and that guy’s not even 25 yet. He’ll be back. He got nothing to hang his hat on. He played against the same team of my first finals. I played against the Spurs. It’s the same s***. The same s***.” And they took advantage of me not knowing much,” LeBron said during the episode.

Tatum Looking to Improve Physicality

Tatum might have taken some time off following the Celtics game six loss, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t got back into the lab to start working on his game. World class trainer Drew Hanlen recently hosted a Q&A on Twitter, and revealed two primary areas of focus for the All-Star wing this summer.

Hopefully, Tatum’s decision to continue developing his game to finish through contact means that his shoulder is no longer bothering him, and that he’s willing to embrace the bully-boy basketball head coach Ime Udoka has been asking of him since taking the reigns.

Tatum ended the regular season with a 69% conversion rate around the rim, so it’s clear there are improvements to be made, and as we all know, if he can become more consistent when slashing to the hoop, his three-point shots and mid-range pull-ups will both become easier to come by.

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