Jayson Tatum Needs His Own Thread

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The problem is that when the "super-efficient" shooter begins to take all of the shots, he stops being as efficient because defenses focus on that player. Everyone gets easier shots when all five guys on the floor are a threat to score..
What you write sounds great to most people who watch basketball but isn't really true. NBA defenses are so good that if you don't have a guy that can force defenses to break own or double-teams, you can pass the ball all you want and still not come up with a good shot. Witness the Nets from a few years ago, Lots of ball movement but they still struggled to get good shots because they didn't have a scorer.

The other way to look at it is that the NBA is about mismatches. There are a few simple ways to get mismatches but for the very elite, any ISO can be a mismatch. KI is a mismatch against almost everyone. JT is not. Neither is JB.
 

Big John

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Sure, the very elite can score in lots of ways. What you see these days is defenses that are "layered" so that the defender always has help lurking somewhere. KI gets by one defender but another gets his hands on the ball or contests the shot. It's a different kind of double team. If KI can pass out of the double team, the threat of the pass to the open shooter or cutter helps him get free the next time. This is not something invented yesterday. Keep the defense guessing.

There have been a handful of truly elite scorers who can impose their will time after time, no matter what the opposing team tries: Chamberlain, Bird, McHale on the low block, prime Rick Barry, prime LeBron and perhaps a few others. But KI is not one of these players.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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There have been a handful of truly elite scorers who can impose their will time after time, no matter what the opposing team tries: Chamberlain, Bird, McHale on the low block, prime Rick Barry, prime LeBron and perhaps a few others. But KI is not one of these players.
I guess you forgot what KI did to the Cs in game 4 when LBJ was out with foul trouble. Or what KI did to GSW.

Going on offense alone, the only guys I'd certainly take before KI are Harden, Durant, Curry, and AD. You could certainly argue for LBJ, Giannis, and Kawhi too. But KI is certainly top 10 and other than Steph, probably the #1 guard (again, just by offense).

Survey of GMs had KI 4th (behind KD, Steph, and LBJ) on who they would want to take the last shot: https://www.nba.com/gmsurvey/2018.

KI may not be historically great but he's as good as it gets right now in the NBA (other than Harden, who isliterally playing a different game). And to bring this post back to the topic at hand, while JT has a lot of promise, right now he's near the other side of the spectrum given his poor ISO numbers.
 

TripleOT

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Tatum was at 0.82 PPP his rookie season, with 10.6% frequency, on 1.4 possessions per game. Brown (0.99 PPP, 6.5% freq) and Rozier (0.95 PPP, 8.7% freq) were also better in iso last season.
 

Big John

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I guess you forgot what KI did to the Cs in game 4 when LBJ was out with foul trouble. Or what KI did to GSW.

Going on offense alone, the only guys I'd certainly take before KI are Harden, Durant, Curry, and AD. You could certainly argue for LBJ, Giannis, and Kawhi too. But KI is certainly top 10 and other than Steph, probably the #1 guard (again, just by offense).

Survey of GMs had KI 4th (behind KD, Steph, and LBJ) on who they would want to take the last shot: https://www.nba.com/gmsurvey/2018.

KI may not be historically great but he's as good as it gets right now in the NBA (other than Harden, who isliterally playing a different game). And to bring this post back to the topic at hand, while JT has a lot of promise, right now he's near the other side of the spectrum given his poor ISO numbers.
Sure, you want the ball in his hands for the last shot, but if he's doubled he may be better off passing the ball. And the "last shot" scenario is different from shots throughout the game. Iverson-like one man shows are ultimately self-defeating.

As for JT, he's a work in progress on offense. I'm guessing that if he plays more catch-and-shoot, his efficiency numbers will improve.
 

TripleOT

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Kyrie did a way better job playing with others last season, and then stepping into the closer role, than he has this season. It seems like he's more into either iso ball, or the high p/r with AL, rather than using his dribbling ability to set up others. His closing hasn't been as strong either. Last season, once there was five minutes left in a close game, it was Kyrie time.
 

HomeRunBaker

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What you write sounds great to most people who watch basketball but isn't really true. NBA defenses are so good that if you don't have a guy that can force defenses to break own or double-teams, you can pass the ball all you want and still not come up with a good shot. Witness the Nets from a few years ago, Lots of ball movement but they still struggled to get good shots because they didn't have a scorer.

The other way to look at it is that the NBA is about mismatches. There are a few simple ways to get mismatches but for the very elite, any ISO can be a mismatch. KI is a mismatch against almost everyone. JT is not. Neither is JB.
Those who are in-tune with the NBA recognize this and even the casual Celtics fans should have learned this the year after Pierce left when we were losing all those close 4th quarter games because nobody could get off a quality shot down the stretch until we made the trade for Isaiah. It was a laughing point here as most were finally able to appreciate the Pierce iso elbow jumper. IIRC, we were something like 5-15 in games decided by 6 or less plus OT games pre-Isaiah while hearing the shot clock go off as Bradley, Smart, or Olynyk were struggling to even get shots off.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Kyrie did a way better job playing with others last season, and then stepping into the closer role, than he has this season. It seems like he's more into either iso ball, or the high p/r with AL, rather than using his dribbling ability to set up others. His closing hasn't been as strong either. Last season, once there was five minutes left in a close game, it was Kyrie time.
The numbers don't agree with this. KI has a career high in assists/game. His Ass% is the highest in years and his Usg% is down from last year. His NRtg is the highest on the team. When KI doesn't play, the Cs ORtg drop 7+ ppg.

There are more stats here: https://www.celticsblog.com/2019/2/14/18224535/the-boston-celtics-are-not-better-without-kyrie-irving. The one that jumps out is that with guys who have 500+ P'n'R possessions, KI is #1 in points/possession and "Among those players, the difference between Irving’s league-best point per possession mark and the second-best (Paul George at 1.068) equals the difference between second- and seventh-best (Luka Doncic at 1.02)."

Maybe KI makes the game look too easy.
 

lovegtm

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Sure, you want the ball in his hands for the last shot, but if he's doubled he may be better off passing the ball. And the "last shot" scenario is different from shots throughout the game. Iverson-like one man shows are ultimately self-defeating.

As for JT, he's a work in progress on offense. I'm guessing that if he plays more catch-and-shoot, his efficiency numbers will improve.
Every player who’s ever lived, except maybe Wilt, would be better off passing the ball if doubled. GSW beat the Cavs in 2015 as soon as they figured out how to handle the traps on Curry by having Draymond short roll and playmake.

Saying Kyrie isn’t elite because he’s not elite going iso against double teams is maybe the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

EDIT: I’ll give you the charitable reading, which is that you think that Kyrie needs to improve at making plays when he’s doubled. I’d agree with that, but that is also on Brad and Horford, who often will be the outlet against those schemes.

If Kyrie is getting doubled consistently, that is a very, very good thing for the Celtics. It means they can create an advantage which, as HRB and WBCD note, is the foundation of all offensive basketball.
 

TripleOT

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The numbers don't agree with this. KI has a career high in assists/game. His Ass% is the highest in years and his Usg% is down from last year. His NRtg is the highest on the team. When KI doesn't play, the Cs ORtg drop 7+ ppg.

There are more stats here: https://www.celticsblog.com/2019/2/14/18224535/the-boston-celtics-are-not-better-without-kyrie-irving. The one that jumps out is that with guys who have 500+ P'n'R possessions, KI is #1 in points/possession and "Among those players, the difference between Irving’s league-best point per possession mark and the second-best (Paul George at 1.068) equals the difference between second- and seventh-best (Luka Doncic at 1.02)."

Maybe KI makes the game look too easy.
I was wrong about KI efficiency in crunch time. He was very good last year, and even better this season, some of the best metrics in the league. 53/39/92% shooting, 5-1 ast/to ratio. 4.8 point on 3.3 shots.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I was wrong about KI efficiency in crunch time. He was very good last year, and even better this season, some of the best metrics in the league. 53/39/92% shooting, 5-1 ast/to ratio. 4.8 point on 3.3 shots.
Someone should tell CHB that the data doesn't support the whole "better off without Kyrie" theme that he and some of the other mouth breathers in the media are pushing.
 

lovegtm

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I was wrong about KI efficiency in crunch time. He was very good last year, and even better this season, some of the best metrics in the league. 53/39/92% shooting, 5-1 ast/to ratio. 4.8 point on 3.3 shots.
Yup, I don’t know why Kyrie’s offense is so consistently underrated. The Celtics are going to have the best offensive player in every round of the East playoffs, except maybe against the Bucks.
 

TripleOT

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Kyrie is so amazing in crunch time, one of the absolute best in the league by statistics, and is having his best statistical season in his career, but the Celtics are only 31-24 when he plays, and 10-2 when he sits. He came to Boston to be the leader of a team, and hasn't done that very well, despite the great numbers.

Boston fans don't react well to divas, or to "I, I, I" type players, and that's the reason for a lot of the better off without him chatter. Kyrie mishandled his contract year by first declaring he was re-upping with Boston, then backsliding when things weren't going as well as he expected. Now that there is national blowback of his leadership abilities, and actual doubt that he can win a title as a lead dog, Kyrie seems to be making a concerted effort to shore up his leadership.

Hopefully, it will sustain for the rest of this season and the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how he handles it if the team goes on another mini-losing skid.
 

TripleOT

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Jayson Tatum needs his own thread.
Fair enough.

Five assists for Tatum in LA, tying his season high, which he has done only two other times this season. His career high for assists in a game is six, done once last year. In 167 career games, he's gotten five or more assists only six times.

He put in a Kobe-esque shooting performance against the Lakers, going 2-7, for 6 points (assuming Kobe would ever take only seven shots in a game), but the five assists were a welcome sign that he can play well with others. I'd like to see him do some drive and kick stuff, when he's not too busy pounding the ball in setting up a challenged 18 footer.
 

bosox79

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Last 4 games
5 assists
3 assists
4 assists
6 assists

Hopefully it's the start of a trend.
 

mostman

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Last 4 games
5 assists
3 assists
4 assists
6 assists

Hopefully it's the start of a trend.
I looked up these stats as well while watching the Denver game because he was obviously looking to pass. Tatum moving his APG from 2 to something like 3.5 or more would really make a huge difference in his game.
 

NomarsFool

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Someone should tell CHB that the data doesn't support the whole "better off without Kyrie" theme that he and some of the other mouth breathers in the media are pushing.
I wonder what proportion of fans think the Globe would be better without Shaughnessy? 90% 95% 99.9%

I'm not sure there's another writer that I find more tiresome.
 

bosox79

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Last 4 games
5 assists
3 assists
4 assists
6 assists

Hopefully it's the start of a trend.
The following 6 games
4
4
4
4
3
5

Last 10 games: 31.6 mpg, .442/.417/.733, 13.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.7 turnovers. 12.0 FGA, 1.5 FTA, 3.6 3PA.
First 66 games: 31.2 mpg, .453/.371/.868, 16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.5 turnovers, 13.3 FGA, 3.1 FTA, 4.0 3PA.

I thought the FGA were down considerably more than 1.3 attempts a game. The FTA are a bit discouraging but it's hard not to be encouraged with the passing over the last 10. Celtics are 6-4 in those games.
 

Imbricus

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Surprised that he doesn't get called for more offensive foils with that off arm push off he always seems to do
Yeah, I was noticing that too. What do the announcers call that? The chicken wing? Maybe that's one reason he's not getting the foul calls he deserves.
 

benhogan

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Came over here from the Game Thread. Tatum received overrated votes by his fellow NBA players.

Sad to say, I agree on Tatum. His 2018-19 season has been disappointing.
Also was hoping for a bigger step this season. Please no more "Summers of Kobe".

The pump fake at the 3pt line to take one step in and fire a long challenged two OR backing the defender down, pounding the ball, eating clock, that ends with a turn around fade away jumper. Ugh, that crap needs to GO (along with fellow abusers: Mook and Rozier)

3-Step process:
1. Fire the open 3 OR
2. Drive to the hoop OR
3. Move the ball to a teammate
 

Fishy1

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Came over here from the Game Thread. Tatum received overrated votes by his fellow NBA players.

Also was hoping for a bigger step this season. Please no more "Summers of Kobe".

The pump fake at the 3pt line to take one step in and fire a long challenged two OR backing the defender down, pounding the ball, eating clock, that ends with a turn around fade away jumper. Ugh, that crap needs to GO (along with fellow abusers: Mook and Rozier)

3-Step process:
1. Fire the open 3 OR
2. Drive to the hoop OR
3. Move the ball to a teammate
What's so frustrating is he's a talented passer. He needs to attack immediately off that fake and then pass it because the defense will collapse on him. He's good enough around the hoop that they will. And his stats in the mid-range are grizzly: ~36%. He just hasn't been a good scorer this year. Like, at all. Rudy Gay, much maligned in his career, is, on the other hand, shooting 50% in the mid-range.

I'm as likely to complain about MaMo as anyone, but he's shooting around 43% on mid-range jumpers. At least he makes some. And being decisive off the pump-fake was part of what was so impressive about the MaMo we saw in the first half of the season. It was like he learned that driving and kicking made him more versatile and dangerous or something! He unlearned that pretty quickly. Old habits die hard. He seems to be an inherently selfish player.

I'm hoping Tatum learns his lesson soon because his stagnation has been not only frustrating but worrying too. If he doesn't dedicate himself to improving his game outside of his jump shot he'll never be as good as we hoped. Stevens must be so frustrated: he just didn't get buy-in from the start from a lot of these guys on a pace and space offense and it's prevented this team from being the offensive juggernaut it should've been.
 

BigSoxFan

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What's so frustrating is he's a talented passer. He needs to attack immediately off that fake and then pass it because the defense will collapse on him. He's good enough around the hoop that they will. And his stats in the mid-range are grizzly: ~36%. He just hasn't been a good scorer this year. Like, at all. Rudy Gay, much maligned in his career, is, on the other hand, shooting 50% in the mid-range.

I'm as likely to complain about MaMo as anyone, but he's shooting around 43% on mid-range jumpers. At least he makes some. And being decisive off the pump-fake was part of what was so impressive about the MaMo we saw in the first half of the season. It was like he learned that driving and kicking made him more versatile and dangerous or something! He unlearned that pretty quickly. Old habits die hard. He seems to be an inherently selfish player.

I'm hoping Tatum learns his lesson soon because his stagnation has been not only frustrating but worrying too. If he doesn't dedicate himself to improving his game outside of his jump shot he'll never be as good as we hoped. Stevens must be so frustrated: he just didn't get buy-in from the start from a lot of these guys on a pace and space offense and it's prevented this team from being the offensive juggernaut it should've been.
I’m not too worried about Tatum because he’ll be a Pelican in a few months.
 

TripleOT

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Tatum took about a third of his shots as two pointers 10 feet and out this season, and hit only 38% of them, with only 41% of his makes assisted. He took about a third of his shots from three, and hit 37% of them, with 85% assisted.

Last season, he hit 43% of these twos, and 52% of his makes were assisted. His three point percentage was higher last season, at 41%, with 85% assisted. He's a bit more accurate at the rim and with short shots.

It's clear that Tatum trying to generate his own offense with two point jumpers is the reason he's regressed in his second season. Since Stevens allowed him to play this way, the braintrust must want him to develop this part of his game. There are less than a handful of players in the NBA who can convert these long twos in iso at a high enough percentage to make it worthwhile, like KD. I'd rather have Tatum taking step back threes than these long iso twos.
 

benhogan

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Tatum took about a third of his shots as two pointers 10 feet and out this season, and hit only 38% of them, with only 41% of his makes assisted. He took about a third of his shots from three, and hit 37% of them, with 85% assisted.

Last season, he hit 43% of these twos, and 52% of his makes were assisted. His three point percentage was higher last season, at 41%, with 85% assisted. He's a bit more accurate at the rim and with short shots.

It's clear that Tatum trying to generate his own offense with two point jumpers is the reason he's regressed in his second season. Since Stevens allowed him to play this way, the braintrust must want him to develop this part of his game. There are less than a handful of players in the NBA who can convert these long twos in iso at a high enough percentage to make it worthwhile, like KD. I'd rather have Tatum taking step back threes than these long iso twos.
nice posts TripleOT and Fishy1. Really glaring shooting stats.

I'd rather blame Kobe then the Celtic brain trust for JT's long 2pt fascination. One of Brad's main points in most PG press confs is ball movement and finding the most efficient shot. I can't imagine they'd encourage "more" contested, ball/time-consuming, long range two's.

I'm guessing the brain trust capitulated and let MaMo pound the ball and go selfish because Mook shot lights out from 3 for the first 40 games (~45%). Rozier was always just Kyrie injury insurance this season, as long as Smart is good to go Terry should see diminished minutes in the playoffs. MaMo's shooting cliff dive and consistently awful defense should limit his impact in the playoffs.
 

lovegtm

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I understand that people are frustrated, but the dude is 21. That's really, really young to have your whole NBA game figured out.

And, as noted, there's a really high chance he's a Pelican, a chance that goes up even higher if the Cs make a playoff run.
 

benhogan

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I understand that people are frustrated, but the dude is 21. That's really, really young to have your whole NBA game figured out.

And, as noted, there's a really high chance he's a Pelican, a chance that goes up even higher if the Cs make a playoff run.
when I mentioned "step" above, it was implying that Tatum is in the process of figuring out his game. Fishy/OT stats just confirmed the questionable shot selection this season.
JT has many more steps to figure out his game. The future is very bright. And like you said hopefully, with a long Celtic playoff run, the Pelicans can exploit it over the years to come.

On another note, it felt like Jaylen Brown embraced the 3-Step process (Fire the open 3 or Drive to the hoop or Move the ball to a teammate) since the New Year. JB's game would dovetail nicely into a Kyrie/AD/Horford/Hayward led group. So I won't be as heartsick if we lose JT instead of JB. Are you seeing that with Brown?
 

nighthob

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nice posts TripleOT and Fishy1. Really glaring shooting stats.

I'd rather blame Kobe then the Celtic brain trust for JT's long 2pt fascination. One of Brad's main points in most PG press confs is ball movement and finding the most efficient shot. I can't imagine they'd encourage "more" contested, ball/time-consuming, long range two's.
They're not "blaming" the Celtics braintrust, just pointing out the most logical reason. Namely that a player that can generate his own shots and score from anywhere on the floor is inherently more valuable. Someone like Jaylen Brown should be embracing the "shoot the three or drive" offense because he's not likely to ever be good enough offensively to do otherwise.

Tatum has the ability to, even if he hasn't physically matured enough yet to effectively create separation in the mid ranges, be that sort of player that can generate his own offense from anywhere. And it's entirely logical that Boston's coaching staff wants him to work on that aspect of his game for future growth.
 

lovegtm

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when I mentioned "step" above, it was implying that Tatum is in the process of figuring out his game. Fishy/OT stats just confirmed the questionable shot selection this season.
JT has many more steps to figure out his game. The future is very bright. And like you said hopefully, with a long Celtic playoff run, the Pelicans can exploit it over the years to come.

On another note, it felt like Jaylen Brown embraced the 3-Step process (Fire the open 3 or Drive to the hoop or Move the ball to a teammate) since the New Year. JB's game would dovetail nicely into a Kyrie/AD/Horford/Hayward led group. So I won't be as heartsick if we lose JT instead of JB. Are you seeing that with Brown?
Yeah, I think I'm already on record as liking Brown better on an AD/Kyrie/Hayward team (which has a 5-7 year window). Particularly if you can extend Brown this summer at around 18M/year or so, which is looking more realistic than a year ago.

Tatum is going to get paid in RFA, and if his skillset is redundant, I'd rather keep Brown at a lower price + more picks.
 

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I understand that people are frustrated, but the dude is 21. That's really, really young to have your whole NBA game figured out.

And, as noted, there's a really high chance he's a Pelican, a chance that goes up even higher if the Cs make a playoff run.
It's like when you go play in a pickup game in a new gym and you have to figure out your role. But for Tatum it's much more complex and he's probably never had to do that before.
 

Jimbodandy

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It's like when you go play in a pickup game in a new gym and you have to figure out your role. But for Tatum it's much more complex and he's probably never had to do that before.
I think that the game just hasn't slowed down for him as much as it perhaps seems. He is really skilled in so many aspects of the sport. But 30ish college games and two seasons of pro ball--he's still a baby. And his pacifier is a step back 20 footer, and he can get it any time that he wants.

Nothing to fear here imo. Long term, the kid is coachable and has a vast array of tools. The game will slow down another notch or two for him.
 

Big John

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Tatum's offense is only one side of the coin. I'm disappointed in his development there, as are many others.

But his defense and rebounding have not taken a step back. He may never become Pierce on offense, but in my estimation he's already a better defender than Pierce was before 2007.
 

lovegtm

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Tatum's offense is only one side of the coin. I'm disappointed in his development there, as are many others.

But his defense and rebounding have not taken a step back. He may never become Pierce on offense, but in my estimation he's already a better defender than Pierce was before 2007.
Yes, and defense, especially in a team setting, usually comes much later for young players. It was also one of his biggest question marks coming out of the draft.
 

benhogan

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They're not "blaming" the Celtics braintrust, just pointing out the most logical reason. Namely that a player that can generate his own shots and score from anywhere on the floor is inherently more valuable. Someone like Jaylen Brown should be embracing the "shoot the three or drive" offense because he's not likely to ever be good enough offensively to do otherwise.

Tatum has the ability to, even if he hasn't physically matured enough yet to effectively create separation in the mid ranges, be that sort of player that can generate his own offense from anywhere. And it's entirely logical that Boston's coaching staff wants him to work on that aspect of his game for future growth.
Watching Jayson Tatum avoid an open 3 in order to take 1 step in from the 3pt line and launch a contested 2pt shot was perplexing. Even 5 years from now, with a fully developed JT, I won't be a fan of that choice.

PLUS the time-consuming backdown ISO 2 really thwarts the concept of pace n space. The C's desperately wanted to play small ball this season, and ball movement is the key to making that work. They tossed that aside to let JT work on his ISO development for his future growth?

Brad was consistent in every post-game press conference to stress defense and ball movement. Color me skeptical that the Celtic brain trust liked/encouraged mid/long range 2/ ISO style of play from Tatum.
 
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lovegtm

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Watching Jayson Tatum avoid an open 3 in order to take 1 step in from the 3pt line and launch a contested 2pt shot was perplexing. Even 5 years from now, with a fully developed JT, I won't be a fan of that choice.

PLUS the time-consuming backdown ISO 2 really thwarts the concept of pace n space. The C's desperately wanted to play small ball this season, and ball movement is the key to making that work. They tossed that aside to let JT work on his ISO development for his future growth?

Brad was consistent in every post-game press conference to stress defense and ball movement. Color me skeptical the Celtic brain trust liked/encouraged mid/long range 2/ ISO style of play from Tatum.
Yeah, we have a lot of clear indicators as to what the Celtics wanted. There was that one game against the Knicks earlier in December or November where Brad insta-yanked Tatum after he took one of those jumpers, and then Tatum went and sulked on the sidelines and Larranga had to go try to engage with him.

My best guess is that the Celtics tried a lot of carrots and sticks to get him to break the habit, and you would sometimes see him make a really concerted effort to only drive to the hoop, or look for certain passes, or sidestep for 3s instead of 2s.

Focus is a limited resource, maybe the scarcest one in the world. This is triply true when breaking an old habit or learning a new, uncomfortable skill. You can generally work on improving one thing at once, and Tatum has done a great job of slowly improving his playmaking, team/individual defense, and ability to drive, all of which were questions coming out of college, and all of which require a lot of focus. I'm willing to sacrifice some regular season possessions to long 2s if it keeps his focus on those things until he improves at them enough that he can go back and work on shot selection.
 

DrewDawg

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He increased his assists/36 minutes by 45% after the ASB.

He had 18 games with 4+ assists, and 14 of them happened after 12/29.

Tatum is the youngest player to make 200+ three pointers in his first 2 seasons, while making a combined 40% of them (of which there are only 12 players).
 

lovegtm

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He increased his assists/36 minutes by 45% after the ASB.

He had 18 games with 4+ assists, and 14 of them happened after 12/29.

Tatum is the youngest player to make 200+ three pointers in his first 2 seasons, while making a combined 40% of them (of which there are only 12 players).
Yup, he improved a lot at a couple of his biggest weaknesses.

It’s worth reiterating that lots of young guys go years without learning to put in the level of focus and effort on D that Tatum learned in 2 years.

I get that the long 2s are annoying, and I yell at the TV every time he takes one. But it’s very myopic to focus on that one aspect of a guy’s development.
 

benhogan

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Nov 2, 2007
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Yup, he improved a lot at a couple of his biggest weaknesses.

It’s worth reiterating that lots of young guys go years without learning to put in the level of focus and effort on D that Tatum learned in 2 years.

I get that the long 2s are annoying, and I yell at the TV every time he takes one. But it’s very myopic to focus on that one aspect of a guy’s development.
I think you and DrewDawg hit on it above. His defense is very good at his age, his passing improved after New Years, his shot selection was questionable to begin the year but by the end of the season his decision making had improved.

With Mook's removal from the starting unit we'll see Tatum have a bigger impact on the offense, which is a good thing for him and the team. So while I wanted a bigger "step" from Tatum this regular season, I think we'll see a better JT in the playoffs w/ the recent rotational changes.
 

Jimbodandy

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Jan 31, 2006
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Yeah, we have a lot of clear indicators as to what the Celtics wanted. There was that one game against the Knicks earlier in December or November where Brad insta-yanked Tatum after he took one of those jumpers, and then Tatum went and sulked on the sidelines and Larranga had to go try to engage with him.

My best guess is that the Celtics tried a lot of carrots and sticks to get him to break the habit, and you would sometimes see him make a really concerted effort to only drive to the hoop, or look for certain passes, or sidestep for 3s instead of 2s.

Focus is a limited resource, maybe the scarcest one in the world. This is triply true when breaking an old habit or learning a new, uncomfortable skill. You can generally work on improving one thing at once, and Tatum has done a great job of slowly improving his playmaking, team/individual defense, and ability to drive, all of which were questions coming out of college, and all of which require a lot of focus. I'm willing to sacrifice some regular season possessions to long 2s if it keeps his focus on those things until he improves at them enough that he can go back and work on shot selection.
This is a great post. He had a deficit in a few areas, and now he has cut deeply into those weaknesses with hard work. He still takes too many crutch long 2s, and his ball luck has regressed somewhat. This is a good second year for him, especially given his age.
 

TripleOT

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Jul 4, 2007
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Tatum at 4.5 ppg on 4/17 shooting, 0-3 from three, 23.5% shooting after shooting 51% and putting up 19.3 ppg in the first round. He looked totally disinterested in the first two games. Hopefully, the home crowd will get him going.
 

ifmanis5

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Sep 29, 2007
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This was a good point.
He's been doing it all year and the coach can't get him to stop it.
Either he's not being coached right or he's not listening. Then again, I guess it could be both.
He needs to stop listening to Kobe and play like it's 2019- take a 3 or go to the basket. Period.