Jayson Tatum Sounds off on Potential Surgery After Finals Struggles

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Getty Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

The NBA season is officially over, and unfortunately, the Boston Celtics come up short in their series against the Golden State Warriors.

Now, the focus shifts to the off-season. Players will vacation and then begin working on their game, coaches and front office members start to devise a plan for the off-season, and anyone carrying injuries can begin their rehabilitation.

Jayson Tatum is one of those players, as, throughout the Celtics’ final series against the Warriors, it was clear he was carrying a shoulder injury, something Ime Udoka labeled as a ‘stinger’ mid-way through the series. However, as Tatum’s shooting struggles continued, fears of an off-season surgery began to grow.

Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart Postgame Interview | Celtics vs Warriors Game 6BOSTON, MA — Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum were interviewed following the Celtics 103-90 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals on Thursday night. Golden State has now won their fourth title in the past 8 years, and the Celtics will now deal with the aftermath of a…2022-06-17T05:28:40Z

Luckily, when speaking to the media following the Celtics game six loss on June 16, Tatum confirmed that his shoulder would not need corrective surgery, alleviating fears that his recovery could bleed into the start of next season. As such, the St. Louis native should be free to begin working on his game once he’s taken a well-deserved vacation.

Tatum Struggled to Impact the Finals

Heading into the NBA Finals, Tatum was on a tear, both as a scorer and playmaker. To many, the 24-year-old wing was proving himself as a young superstar in the NBA, capable of shouldering the expectations of leading one of the league’s most storied franchises.

But, as the lights began to shine brighter, and the Warriors increased their intensity, Tatum struggled to find ways to impact the game in a positive manner, finishing the Celtics’ do-or-die game six with just 13 points, seven assists, and three rebounds, also turning the ball over five times.

Of course, one game does not make a bad series. But when you consider Tatum’s struggles throughout the NBA Finals, it’s clear the Warriors had his number, and that his shoulder hindered him from being the best version of himself. However, when speaking to the media on June 16, Tatum noted how his struggles, and his team’s loss at the final hurdle, were going to fuel the Celtics onto bigger and better things moving forwards.

“Yeah. We know what it feels like to get to this point. Like Smart said, getting here and not accomplishing it, it’s tough. You don’t want to feel like this again, but you want to get back here. So to answer your question, yeah, it’s going to fuel us,” Tatum said.

Udoka Expects Tatum to ‘Learn From This’

The Jayson Tatum that ended this season was not the same one that started it. The All-NBA wing has clearly improved his game throughout the year, and while Golden State found ways to limit him, it took a team-wide effort to do so.

Still, when speaking to the media on June 16, Udoka was bullish in his assessment of Tatum, and clearly had no concern’s about his star player’s ability to continue improving his game – praising his basketball IQ and high work ethic.

Ime Udoka: "The Future Is Bright and We're Just Getting Started" | Celtics vs Warriors Game 6BOSTON, MA — Ime Udoka was interviewed following the Celtics 103-90 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals on Thursday night. Golden State has now won their fourth title in the past 8 years, and the Celtics will now deal with the aftermath of a tough end to…2022-06-17T05:07:16Z

“This is only the start of how you’re going to be guarded and the attention you’re going to draw. One thing that he’s always done throughout the season was saw multiple different coverages and figured it out. He did that throughout the first few series. This was a rough one. A very consistent team that did some things to limit him and make others pay.

For him, it’s just continuing to grow, and understanding you’re going to see this for the rest of your career. This is just a start. The growth he showed as a playmaker this year and in certain areas, I think this is the next step for him. Figuring that out, getting to where some of the veterans are that have seen everything and took their lumps early in their careers. Like I said, very motivated guy that works extremely hard, high IQ, and intelligent guy that will learn from this and figure it out. I think it will propel him to go forward, and definitely motivate him,” Udoka told reporters.

Udoka and his Celtics team now have the off-season to process their amazing post-season run, and analyze where they fell short against an incredibly experienced Warriors team. Hopefully, Boston can come back stronger next season, and continue to challenge for the biggest prize in basketball.


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