Jayson Tatum 2021-22: Leap Year

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Is this the year Tatum makes 'the leap' and pushes closer to the Top 5 discussion? Most sites seem to have him in the 12-15 range entering the season. It will be interesting to see how the team does, but I'm most looking forward to seeing Tatum this season. Last year he suffered some setbacks as did the Celtics organization as a whole. He finished the season strong. Hoping for good things in the coming season.

Some highlights from last year
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MN_oHRwf-7k
 

bakahump

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I havent been impressed watching him in preseason. He has just seemed off......and not in a Marcus Smart way.

Of course I freely admit this means absolutely nothing. He is most likely learning his teammates and trying to get them involved. I am also probably grading him to hard ("he should score 30 every time he touches the floor") which is unfair as he has been working up to the last game with 31 mins. Plus he HAS scored at least 18 in every preseason game he played. So stop being such a pessimist Baka.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Top 10 anyway. I'd argue last year was a leap year in some regards. I think most of his setbacks last year were on defense and that could just as easily been the personal around him.

I'd like to see continued growth as a playmaker.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I know people don't like Point Tatum but it's the correct choice long term. Or maybe people are more open to it now.

I wouldn't be surprised if he lead the team in assists.
 

RorschachsMask

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I know people don't like Point Tatum but it's the correct choice long term. Or maybe people are more open to it now.

I wouldn't be surprised if he lead the team in assists.
Because of his gravity, and how much he opens up when the ball is in his hand, you almost have to do point Tatum to get the most out of the offense, IMO. A big part of this is guys moving off ball, whether with cuts, or relocating. They looked much better with regards to that in the preseason, but still need to see it in real games.

I predicted 5 assists, but closer to 6 wouldn’t shock me at all.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Because of his gravity, and how much he opens up when the ball is in his hand, you almost have to do point Tatum to get the most out of the offense, IMO. A big part of this is guys moving off ball, whether with cuts, or relocating. They looked much better with regards to that in the preseason, but still need to see it in real games.

I predicted 5 assists, but closer to 6 wouldn’t shock me at all.
I think the team is build for Point Tatum, anyway. Almost all the key rotation players are average or better playmakers for their position but no one that ball dominant. I also think he's separated himself from Jaylen Brown as far as playmaking goes. Jaylen has improved a bit as well though.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Is this the year Tatum makes 'the leap' and pushes closer to the Top 5 discussion? Most sites seem to have him in the 12-15 range entering the season. It will be interesting to see how the team does, but I'm most looking forward to seeing Tatum this season. Last year he suffered some setbacks as did the Celtics organization as a whole. He finished the season strong. Hoping for good things in the coming season.
Here is a bit of how Tatum ended his season:
  • April 9: 53 points
  • April 30: 60 points
  • May 18 (play-in game): 50 points
  • May 28 (playoffs): 50 points
Larry Bird had 4 50-point games in his whole career. (Remarkably, he, like Tatum, had games of 60, 53, 50, and 50.) Tatum's should have been 61 but a dumb ref robbed him of an and-1.

IOW, the leap might already have been made.
I havent been impressed watching him in preseason. He has just seemed off......and not in a Marcus Smart way.
In a couple of the games, the Celtics were sitting a lot of their top players (Brown, Covid, Smart, and others), and teams were just throwing guys at Tatum.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I think the team is build for Point Tatum, anyway. Almost all the key rotation players are average or better playmakers for their position but no one that ball dominant. I also think he's separated himself from Jaylen Brown as far as playmaking goes. Jaylen has improved a bit as well though.
One thing they have been working on this preseason is going to Tatum in the post and having him hit the open man when he draws a double team.
 

Euclis20

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I know people don't like Point Tatum but it's the correct choice long term. Or maybe people are more open to it now.

I wouldn't be surprised if he lead the team in assists.
Neither would I, he did it last year. It took some injuries to make it happen, but durability is a skill, too (and covid aside, Tatum is pretty durable).
 

lovegtm

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I've seen this movie so many times now, where Tatum looks awkward doing a new thing, everyone wonders what's wrong with him, and then he integrates the new thing into his game rapidly and jumps to a new level.

I don't really expect playmaking and posting to be any different.

The interesting question to me is where his 3s will come from. 2020 Leap Tatum was operating above the arc and getting tons of volume. It's harder to get up 8+ 3s/game from the post, and that's a high-value part of his game.

The answer might just end up being that he passes well and draws fouls in the post, and it's fine that he only takes 6-7 3s. Something to watch though.
 

Jakarta

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I've seen this movie so many times now, where Tatum looks awkward doing a new thing, everyone wonders what's wrong with him, and then he integrates the new thing into his game rapidly and jumps to a new level.

I don't really expect playmaking and posting to be any different.

The interesting question to me is where his 3s will come from. 2020 Leap Tatum was operating above the arc and getting tons of volume. It's harder to get up 8+ 3s/game from the post, and that's a high-value part of his game.

The answer might just end up being that he passes well and draws fouls in the post, and it's fine that he only takes 6-7 3s. Something to watch though.
Absolutely. I think there is probably a combination of new coach and offense, new teammates, and new individual skills that are making him look less than his usual self in the preseason. As he gets more comfortable with all of that in the next few weeks he is going to become the usual monster we have come to expect.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The interesting question to me is where his 3s will come from. 2020 Leap Tatum was operating above the arc and getting tons of volume. It's harder to get up 8+ 3s/game from the post, and that's a high-value part of his game.
I doubt very much that the Celtics intend to park him on the block like he is Kevin McHale. Tatum's key skill from three is being able to create his own shot from there. (According to cleaning the glass, Tatum was assisted on only 47% of his made threes.) I'm guessing that Ime & co want to refine his inside the arc game and get him more accustomed to recognizing and passing out if double teams.
 

lovegtm

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I doubt very much that the Celtics intend to park him on the block like he is Kevin McHale. Tatum's key skill from three is being able to create his own shot from there. (According to cleaning the glass, Tatum was assisted on only 47% of his made threes.) I'm guessing that Ime & co want to refine his inside the arc game and get him more accustomed to recognizing and passing out if double teams.
Right...my point is that those skills are in tension to some degree. Every possession he is in the mid-post is a possession where it's pretty unlikely he takes an unassisted 3, which will lower his volume on those somewhat. I'm optimistic that it's a worthwhile tradeoff: high-value passes and fouls and rim attacks are some of the most important things in basketball, even if you have to take some 42% fadeaways as part of that package.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Right...my point is that those skills are in tension to some degree. Every possession he is in the mid-post is a possession where it's pretty unlikely he takes an unassisted 3, which will lower his volume on those somewhat. I'm optimistic that it's a worthwhile tradeoff: high-value passes and fouls and rim attacks are some of the most important things in basketball, even if you have to take some 42% fadeaways as part of that package.
Over the past 2 years, 37.5% of his total shots have been threes. I don't expect that number to decline. During his best statistical month last year, April, 39.5% of his shots were from three. I doubt there is a plan to have him take fewer threes.
 

benhogan

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luckily we have a PG that will dribble-drive into the paint and kick (DS) &
and a Center that will also be willing to pass out of the post (AL vs TT)

Tatum could see more catch-and-shoot step-in 3s, when he's not drawing and1s at the rim.

His foul drawing/ and1 game will probably take a few weeks to develop while many grab their pearls. That's how Tatum rolls
 

Jimbodandy

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Right...my point is that those skills are in tension to some degree. Every possession he is in the mid-post is a possession where it's pretty unlikely he takes an unassisted 3, which will lower his volume on those somewhat. I'm optimistic that it's a worthwhile tradeoff: high-value passes and fouls and rim attacks are some of the most important things in basketball, even if you have to take some 42% fadeaways as part of that package.
There's not a hell of a lot of downside to adding arrows to his quiver.

If they're guarding him with smalls (or if he gets switched onto one), abusing that small in the post for an easy shot or layup (and/or getting to the line) is good basketball. If they're guarding him with more appropriate size, he's taking that guy off the dribble and bombing or getting to the rim. Again, good basketball.

Post is only "bad offense" when you don't have a mismatch imo.
 

Euclis20

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There's not a hell of a lot of downside to adding arrows to his quiver.

If they're guarding him with smalls (or if he gets switched onto one), abusing that small in the post for an easy shot or layup (and/or getting to the line) is good basketball. If they're guarding him with more appropriate size, he's taking that guy off the dribble and bombing or getting to the rim. Again, good basketball.

Post is only "bad offense" when you don't have a mismatch imo.
Yeah, it'd be really nice if he'd modeled his game off of Pierce rather than Kobe. The former was a more efficient scorer and excellent at taking advantage of smaller guys switched onto him, either getting easy jump shots from the elbow and FT line or sealing them off down low for layups.
 

chilidawg

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Very interesting look at the off season work Tatum put in with Hanlon, not just getting stronger but also learning all the nuances of using that strength.

"“We’ve done a little bit of work on leveraging bumps, being able to bump from low to high so you can displace your defender,” Hanlen said. “And we’ve done some work on what I call ‘up-down back downs,’ which just means instead of going through the defender, you go in a zigzagging pattern so the defender can’t lean on you and have leverage. But most of it is just him finally getting the ball in spots he feels comfortable with.”

https://theathletic.com/2900982/2021/10/20/jayson-tatums-trainer-explains-how-the-celtics-star-is-reshaping-his-game/
 

128

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Hell of a leap in the opener. If Tatum shoots poorly, instead of abysmally, the C's win.
 

lovegtm

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Hell of a leap in the opener. If Tatum shoots poorly, instead of abysmally, the C's win.
Something has seemed a bit off on his shot starting in the preseason. He's missing FTs and open 3s, and doesn't look quite comfortable. Small sample, and I imagine whatever it is will go away, because it's Tatum, and he always figures things out.
 

benhogan

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Tatum's first FT last night was close to being an air-ball. :eek: He's very off for whatever reason.

I'd expect Hanlen/Tatum to hop on a call if it persists, go through video and work out the flaw
 

Jimbodandy

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Tatum's first FT last night was close to being an air-ball. :eek: He's very off for whatever reason.

I'd expect Hanlen/Tatum to hop on a call if it persists, go through video and work out the flaw
He had this happen before a couple of times, once after a broken hand or finger (can't remember which). Something gets a bit off mechanically and everything's a miss. Same form to our eyes, nothing big off...just something. Doesn't last long usually.
 

RorschachsMask

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I’ll post the numbers more later when I’m home, but Tatum was seriously rushing things last night. I almost had to double take when I checked the time of possession and number of dribbles.

I don’t think he wanted to put the ball down a ton and bog down the offense, everything was quick decisions, just really bad shooting results, and too much settling.
 

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I think everyone was fired up for game 1, Ime's first game, in front of a packed house at MSG, etc.
It seemed comparable to a playoff game, maybe an elimination game, with all the energy in the arena.
 

lovegtm

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It seemed comparable to a playoff game, maybe an elimination game, with all the energy in the arena.
Even the preseason this year felt way more intense than usual. Something in the air, maybe having the full summer off, fans in the building from the get-go...
 

HomeRunBaker

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Tatum's first FT last night was close to being an air-ball. :eek: He's very off for whatever reason.

I'd expect Hanlen/Tatum to hop on a call if it persists, go through video and work out the flaw
Clearly it’s Covid. Seriously, this isn’t new for Tatum. When he has bad nights……he has BAD nights! He’ll have many more of these. Nothing to see here.
 

lexrageorge

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Clearly it’s Covid. Seriously, this isn’t new for Tatum. When he has bad nights……he has BAD nights! He’ll have many more of these. Nothing to see here.
Different sport, but Brady was always good for 1 or 2 WTF games per season. The following week’s opponent would typically feel the wrath.
 

tbb345

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Somewhere I read that 22 of his 30 shots were uncontested. That's just a bad shooting night.
Yeah, I’m normally very critical of Tatum for ball stopping or taking bad shots but I really didn’t see a ton of them in regulation….just misses that he normally makes.
The overtime’s were a different story but everyone was so gassed during those and the play was so bad, I don’t really ding him at all for that
 

HomeRunBaker

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Different sport, but Brady was always good for 1 or 2 WTF games per season. The following week’s opponent would typically feel the wrath.
That is very common for great shooters/scorers not dissimilar from a great team responding following a blowout loss. Won’t cross post but could be some Over prop opportunities on Tatum tonight.
 

Jimbodandy

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That is very common for great shooters/scorers not dissimilar from a great team responding following a blowout loss. Won’t cross post but could be some Over prop opportunities on Tatum tonight.
That would be lovely.

We've seen Tatum go through a few games in a row like this too. As you say, shooters sometimes have these double rim games. But he also seems to have a stretch like once a year where some small thing is a bit off for a week or two. Then suddenly, he's back.

I hope that you're right about a one night thing. But even if not, a four or five night bad streak won't worry me either. He always corrects it.
 

RorschachsMask

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So this is delayed, and it’s just one game so we need to see if the ball flying around and everyone making quick decisions will continue. And obviously these numbers won’t hold up because Tatum will obviously iso more than he did the other night.

That said, last year Tatum dribbled 7+ times 20.5% of the time, 3-6 dribbles 28.7% of the time, 2 dribbles 15%, 1 dribble 17%, and 0 dribbles 20% of the time. Against the Knicks he dribbled 7+ times 20% of the time, 3-6 dribbles 10% of the time, 2 dribbles 10%, 1 dribble 13%, and 0 dribbles 47% of the time.

The numbers with how long he held the ball were the same deal, 2-6+ seconds 53% of the time, and less than 2 seconds 47% of the time. Last year it was 78% versus 21%.

These numbers in itself don’t mean a ton, but it shows what they are trying to do offensively. Less dribbling, less bogging down the offense, and making quicker decisions, especially Tatum when dealing with the endless stream of doubles. I would guess he had more open catch and shoot threes Wednesday night than any game last season, and probably by a fair amount.
 

lovegtm

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Loved one play from Tatum at 4:05 in the 2nd where he faked the fadeaway and leaned in for a foul. He's starting to put together a whole package in that tricky part of the floor where he used to just toss up wild floaters. Fadeaways, bully-ball, passes out...it's encouraging.
 

Dduncan6er

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Loved one play from Tatum at 4:05 in the 2nd where he faked the fadeaway and leaned in for a foul. He's starting to put together a whole package in that tricky part of the floor where he used to just toss up wild floaters. Fadeaways, bully-ball, passes out...it's encouraging.
He had a pass to Al last night that really stood out to me. Got into the paint and looked to the corner which moved Al's defender and he then dished a no look pass to Al for the dunk. He didn't have anything like that in his arsenal last year.
 

HomeRunBaker

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So this is delayed, and it’s just one game so we need to see if the ball flying around and everyone making quick decisions will continue. And obviously these numbers won’t hold up because Tatum will obviously iso more than he did the other night.

That said, last year Tatum dribbled 7+ times 20.5% of the time, 3-6 dribbles 28.7% of the time, 2 dribbles 15%, 1 dribble 17%, and 0 dribbles 20% of the time. Against the Knicks he dribbled 7+ times 20% of the time, 3-6 dribbles 10% of the time, 2 dribbles 10%, 1 dribble 13%, and 0 dribbles 47% of the time.

The numbers with how long he held the ball were the same deal, 2-6+ seconds 53% of the time, and less than 2 seconds 47% of the time. Last year it was 78% versus 21%.

These numbers in itself don’t mean a ton, but it shows what they are trying to do offensively. Less dribbling, less bogging down the offense, and making quicker decisions, especially Tatum when dealing with the endless stream of doubles. I would guess he had more open catch and shoot threes Wednesday night than any game last season, and probably by a fair amount.
Just saw this. It will be interesting to see how these numbers slowly revert back to the last, shoot down immediately, or maintained. I expect the latter to be far and away the least likely but good stuff to track right here.
 

lovegtm

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He had a pass to Al last night that really stood out to me. Got into the paint and looked to the corner which moved Al's defender and he then dished a no look pass to Al for the dunk. He didn't have anything like that in his arsenal last year.
Yup, that was really impressive too, especially since it was with him working in a tight space in the paint.
 

lovegtm

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I like that Tatum seems to have a clear gameplan for when to go to his stepback 3 now: when a big gets switched on to him. Makes him more decisive and less likely to overdribble up top.
 

Jakarta

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72 points on 52 shots, 10 of 23 from 3, 16 rebounds, 10 assists, and only 3 turnovers the last 2 games. He seems to have found his rhythm.

I thought he actually could’ve been more selfish early in overtime as it looked like he passed up a couple of shots.
 

benhogan

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Still leaping.

With eight assists to go along with his 41 points, Tatum created 62 total points, the fourth-highest total in his career. Incredibly, all of those instances have happened in his past 30 games, dating to the 53 points he dropped on Minnesota in April.

He'll easily be a top 10 NBA player by the playoffs...

and a top 3 NBA player by next seasons playoffs
 

Cesar Crespo

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lol top 3. You think a lot of players are going to age out or players like Doncic aren't going to get better.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Potential assists. I wonder what the normal ratio is like. Players miss shots. Is 8/17 bad or normal? If a bunch were 3 point shots, maybe even above average.
 

benhogan

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lol top 3. You think a lot of players are going to age out or players like Doncic aren't going to get better.
Over the next 18mths you'll have:

age/decline/wear-n-tear hitting most of the top players by '23 playoffs +
Tatums' continued physical growth +
CAGR +
positional worth

Sure Doncic/Giannis will be there with JT but Zion won't. I'm not really going out on a limb here
 

Cesar Crespo

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Over the next 18mths you'll have:

age/decline/wear-n-tear hitting most of the top players by '23 playoffs +
Tatums' continued physical growth +
CAGR +
positional worth

sure Doncic will be there with JT but Zion won't
Giannis is so old too. And players like Ball, Edwards, Cunningham etc won't look completely different in 18 months, just Tatum.
 

RorschachsMask

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Potential assists. I wonder what the normal ratio is like. Players miss shots. Is 8/17 bad or normal? If a bunch were 3 point shots, maybe even above average.
I’ve somewhat paid attention to the stat over the last few years, 8 of 17 is somewhat low because it was consistently open shots, but nothing egregiously so.

More to the point, dude was throwing dimes all over the court.