Analyst Rips Celtics Star Jayson Tatum: ‘Pathetic’

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Getty Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

On June 2, the Boston Celtics overcame the Golden State Warriors in game one of the NBA Finals, despite a poor shooting night from Jayson Tatum.

The 24-year-old All-NBA wing failed to reach his usual heights on the offensive end of the floor, shooting just 17.6% on three-of-seventeen shooting. However, in lieu of his usual scoring outbursts, Tatum stepped up as a playmaker dishing out 13 assists to help his team to a 120-108 victory while also providing some lock-down defense.

Still, for some, Tatum’s shooting numbers were all that mattered, and his struggles opened the door for a barrage of criticism in the media, specifically from Skip Bayless of Fox Sports.

“Your man was three-of-seventeen, that’s 17.6%, one of five from three, are you kidding me?… I’ve got to tell the truth. For a guy that is soon to be a superstar, he’s on the verge, he has a seat with his name on it, I got to give him a D as in dog because that was some you know what. That was pathetic,” Bayless said on a recent episode of The Undisputed.

Tatum Not Concerned by Poor Shooting Night

For all of his struggles from the field in game one of the Finals, Tatum wasn’t concerned about his individual statistics. Right now, the Celtics are focused on winning a championship, and understand that it takes a team effort to do so, which is why he became a willing passer on June 2.

“I had a bad shooting night. I just tried to impact the game in other ways. We’re in the championship. We’re in the Finals. All I was worried about was trying to get a win, and we did. That’s all that matters at this point,” Tatum told reporters after the game, “Just reading the play. They do a great job of helping and things like that. So, you know, obviously, it’s just as simple as if you draw two, find somebody that’s open. That’s what I was just trying to do.”

Tatum has had a wildly successful postseason, especially considering that he’s the team’s primary option on offense. In 19 playoff games, the St. Louis native is averaging 26.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 6.3 assists on 43.4% shooting from the field and 36.9% from deep.

Udoka Pleased With Tatum’s Impact

Not long ago, if Tatum was struggling to score the ball, he would have devolved into a shell of the player he’s capable of being. Yet, in the face of adversity, the budding superstar found other ways in which to impact the game and made his teammates better as a result.

When speaking to the media following Boston’s victory, head coach Ime Udoka noted how Tatum’s ability to diversify his game when his shot isn’t falling is something they’ve been working on all season.

“We’ve talked about it throughout the year and I’ve talked to him at length about impacting the game when he’s not having his best offensive night. So he did that tonight. Obviously going three-of-seventeen, that’s usually not going to happen. What he did well and did early was get others involved.

Seven-of-nine assists pretty early in the game, finished with 13, and the shots not falling, he still attracts a good amount of attention and made the right plays. I love his growth and progression in those areas, where he’s still guarding on the defensive end, still getting others involved, not pouting about his shots, and trying to play through some mistakes and physicality they were playing with him,” Udoka said.

The Celtics will play game two of the NBA Finals on Sunday, June 5, as they bid to take a two game lead in the series and put the pressure on the Warriors as they head back to Boston for games three and four.


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