Jayson Tatum's Rise to the Top

wade boggs chicken dinner

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True, but last night, he was getting by nearly everyone.
Mostly Luka, Kryie, and a big (Lively mostly). I don't know if any podcaster is going to bother going deeply into G5, but one adjustment I think the Cs made was to get DAL's big to match up JT or JB on the perimeter. That avoids the big sitting in the lane so when JT/JB blow by the big, there's less rim protection.

Cs also did some double actions where they got the big on JT/JB and then screened again to get Luka; I presume that reduced the amount of time the big had to switch out with a small and play the one-man zone underneath the basket.
 

luckiestman

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I just want to say again that I really enjoy being a Jayson Tatum Stan and last night’s game was one of my favorite sporting events to ever watch. Kyrie choking and then doing that weird goodbye added to it.
 

RorschachsMask

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Tatum didn’t need FMVP, he just needed a game like last night.

Absolutely no jumper, and put up the line that he did. Drove another 25 times btw, which is just an absurd number for a non guard.
 

Jimbodandy

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It was such a joy just to watch Tatum make the right basketball play, over and over again. In years past, the team's undoing was that they couldn't create offense when defenses loaded up to stop Tatum. That was a function of both Tatum's playmaking ability as well as the players around him. Both those issues have been resoundingly dealt with.

Tatum's willingness to move the ball reminded me of one of my favorite LeBron moments. In 2017, when the Cavs were playing the Pacers in the playoffs, Indiana had a chance to take a 1-0 lead in the series. End of the game, down by one, they get the ball into Paul George, who is immediately doubled. He gives it up to CJ Miles, who takes the last-second shot and misses. After the game, George is sitting at the podium, complaining that he didn't get the last shot. "CJ took it upon himself, but that's gotta be me", I think he said. They asked LeBron about it, and his response was, "look, I can't speak for Paul, but if you send two guys at me, I'm giving the ball up every single time. We've got a 4-on-3 and I trust my teammates to make shots. And if they miss, I'll sleep just fine knowing that's the right basketball play."

It struck me then there here were two guys: one doing what he thought great players did - demand the ball, take the last shot, be the man - and one who was already a great player and didn't have to prove anything to anybody. Tatum's always been unselfish, but the lengths that he took that to especially in these playoffs, sticking with it even as the outside criticism mounted, shows unbelievable maturity and growth.
Great post. Says a lot about the man.

Mostly Luka, Kryie, and a big (Lively mostly). I don't know if any podcaster is going to bother going deeply into G5, but one adjustment I think the Cs made was to get DAL's big to match up JT or JB on the perimeter. That avoids the big sitting in the lane so when JT/JB blow by the big, there's less rim protection.

Cs also did some double actions where they got the big on JT/JB and then screened again to get Luka; I presume that reduced the amount of time the big had to switch out with a small and play the one-man zone underneath the basket.
Great observation. I noticed both an effort to get bigs on the perimeter and seeking out the Luka matchup, but did not pick up on the sequence involved. It did seem at one point like there were fewer bigs at the rim.
 

nighthob

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According to Second Spectrum, Tatum recorded a 58.3% blow-by rate on drives in the Finals, the second highest by any player in a series in the past 10 years.
That number was clearly inflated by his 107% rate when defended by Oncic.
 

lovegtm

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One incredibly valuable thing Tatum did, starting in the ECF, was play 42+ minutes in a lot of games.

That has huge, huge value when it's your primary shot creator doing that.
 

RorschachsMask

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Yeah, I posted that in the player tiers thread. I think Tatum is straight-up better than Luka, including "who do you want as your offensive engine on a good team trying to win a title."
He’s mastered leveraging a defense, and it’s only going to get more and more pronounced.
 

RorschachsMask

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This is related to what @lovegtm said in the tiers thread. This team is built for the playoffs, and Tatum managed to do this for them offensively, without being able to hit a jumper. That’s after having his best regular season from deep in years, so have to think they figure it out lol. It’s funny, but he was the exact elite offensive engine that Timpf and company claim he isn’t.

View: https://twitter.com/WSpooney/status/1803506548154810646
 
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NomarsFool

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I am a little concerned about a short offseason for Tatum this Summer. Doesn’t have much chance to rest, heal, lift, and work on his shot again. He improved in just about all facets of his game this year, except his 3P shooting.
 

lexrageorge

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I am a little concerned about a short offseason for Tatum this Summer. Doesn’t have much chance to rest, heal, lift, and work on his shot again. He improved in just about all facets of his game this year, except his 3P shooting.
Recency bias alert. For the regular season, Tatum's 37.6% 3 point shooting was 2% higher than the 2 previous seasons, and snapped a 4 year downward trend (albeit modest) overall.
 

lovegtm

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This is related to what @lovegtm said in the tiers thread. This team is built for the playoffs, and Tatum managed to do this for them offensively, without being able to hit a jumper. That’s after having his best regular season from deep in years, so have to think they figure it out lol. It’s funny, but he was the exact elite offensive engine that Timpf and company claim he isn’t.

View: https://twitter.com/WSpooney/status/1803506548154810646
It was always weird to me that people automatically put Luka and SGA better than Tatum. He's 100% a better offensive creator than SGA, and it's closer with Luka than people think.

6-9 elite Point Guard.
 

NomarsFool

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The absolute totals for Tatum are interesting because, and this is just for this post-season, but they didn't play a lot of games because they dominated so much.
 

Cellar-Door

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One thing I would like to see.... Tatum needs a real shooting coach. I know he's loyal to Hanlen, and Hanlen has really improved a lot of his game..... Hanlen is a terrible shooting coach and his clients get worse on jumpers an alarming amount. Tatum is on a multi-year slide with his shot, and his motion looks different. Spend the summer with Hanlen sure.... but tell him you need a dedicated shooting coach.
 

Mystic Merlin

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One thing I would like to see.... Tatum needs a real shooting coach. I know he's loyal to Hanlen, and Hanlen has really improved a lot of his game..... Hanlen is a terrible shooting coach and his clients get worse on jumpers an alarming amount. Tatum is on a multi-year slide with his shot, and his motion looks different. Spend the summer with Hanlen sure.... but tell him you need a dedicated shooting coach.
I am hoping a full month or so of exposure to Team USA may allow him to stumble on a good rec from a fellow player (eg, Steph) he may not otherwise talk shop with. You never know who may help you identify a blind spot in preparation.
 

radsoxfan

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The absolute totals for Tatum are interesting because, and this is just for this post-season, but they didn't play a lot of games because they dominated so much.
19 games is a lot of postseason games. For a Finals winner it isn't, but compared to most players in any given postseason, it is.

Going 6 games, 6 games, and then losing in the Conference Finals in game 7 would be the same. Last season the Celtics played 20.

Think Tatum got a pretty fair postseason run this year to add to his total.
 

Euclis20

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One incredibly valuable thing Tatum did, starting in the ECF, was play 42+ minutes in a lot of games.

That has huge, huge value when it's your primary shot creator doing that.
Both Tatum and Brown repeatedly played the entire 1st quarter in the finals (and played 44 and 45 of the first 47 minutes of game 5, before being pulled), which is just remarkable in what ended up being the year of the injured star player. That combined with driving to the basket about twice as many times as they did in the regular season, their durability was incredible.

Unfortunately, the reason Tatum wasn't the finals MVP is because he didn't score enough points (although one could also argue it was because of some poor shooting games). My only fear is that subconcsiously he thinks he needs to dominate the game more to get those individual accomplishments. He seems like a very unselfish player, but I'm sure he was hoping his performance last night would get him the award (who wouldn't be hoping for that?).
My hope is that he channels any feelings of disrespect into continuing to do whatever it takes to win another title. While JB's reputation has soared from this playoff run (almost no on one had him in their top 20 entering the year, and now he's gonna be in that 11-15 range), I don't think Tatum's league-wide ranking goes up at all after this playoff run. Assuming he has about the same statistical profile again next year (and the Celtics again win 55+ games), I think that he'll again be in that 5-7 grouping of the best players, meaning he'll need some injury luck (Embiid, Giannis) to DQ 1-2 guys if he wants to make 1st team all-NBA for the 4th straight year. There's absolutely no indication that he'll take that slight in a way that is detrimental to the team, so that's good.
 

DGreenwood

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What is the date that Wyc can officially offer Tatum the supermax? 7/1?
They can officially sign a supermax deal with him as of 7/6, I think.
They can do it now. It's a new rule that you can do it as soon as the season ends for your own players. Tatum's agent made a joke to Brad on Monday night that Brad could bring it over to the locker room while they celebrate and Tatum would sign it.

I'll try to remember where I heard that and link it. I think it was Windhurst.
 

Euclis20

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They can officially sign a supermax deal with him as of 7/6, I think.
In the past it was 7/1, but now teams can negotiate with their own players immediately after the finals (so, as of yesterday). Windhorst joked on his podcast after the finals that Tatum's agent told the Celtics they may as well bring the extension to one of their season ending press conferences. He also told McAfee that Tatum will sign the extension after the parade "in the next week or two."
 

Jimbodandy

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One incredibly valuable thing Tatum did, starting in the ECF, was play 42+ minutes in a lot of games.

That has huge, huge value when it's your primary shot creator doing that.
Especially when he can keep that energy level up at both ends. It's not like he's taking short rests off ball or on D like some folks.
 

radsoxfan

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Especially when he can keep that energy level up at both ends. It's not like he's taking short rests off ball or on D like some folks.
Both Tatum and Jaylen were such a stark contrast to Luka in the stamina department. Maybe Luka was the "best" player in the Finals in theory.... but he could only really play like that in the 1st half or when the games were out of reach and the D let up.

Tatum and Jaylen are in peak shape and that really closed any gap between them and Luka as far as actual overall on court value.

Their defense as well as ability to maintain their offense deep into games was completely different from what Luka could provide for the Mavs.
 

Cellar-Door

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Interesting. Any examples you can share? Without looking it up, I'm not sure who Hanlsn works with other than JT and Embiid.
Maxey, Zach Lavine, Haliburton and Beal are the biggest names (other that Tatum/Embiid), I believe. I do not agree with CD re: Hanlen and his clients struggling shooting jump shots.
Hmm, I didn't know Lavine was in there.... completely rebuilt that shot, though not a huge difference in results.

He broke RJ Barretts shot, then kinda fixed it, then broke it again, etc. etc. (he reworked it in 2022, it was a disaster... tweaked it in Jan and took a victory lap after a good shooting 2 weeks, his percentages then cratered again).
Tatum's form has been changed like 3 times since 2020 and it's significnantly worse, Hanlen admitted a few months ago that they had to change it again because the pocket was too high (it got better for a bit then.... well bad).
He wasn't the guy who broke Fultz' jumper originally, but he did not fix it at all.
Beal was a great shooter, actually saw some decline once Hanlen started focusing on strength.

I think Hanlen is a good trainer, does a ton of stuff well.... I don't think he's a good shot fixer, and he's made Tatum's shot worse, the results say it and just watching it you can see, much less smooth. I'd definitely like to see a shot specialist brought in. Honestly guys going to one trainer/coach for everything is kind of crazy to me... nobody is good at training everything, get a guy who just does that one skill.

Edit- I'd really like to see him spend some time with Chris Matthews (also known as Lethal Shooter). He's a specialist, he's Jaylen's shooting coach. KCP is one of his success stories, MPJ, Candace Parker, Portis, Grant Williams, AD. etc.
 
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RorschachsMask

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It was weird that he went so cold in the playoffs, it was his best year shooting threes/deep two’s in like three years.

I’d expect a similar shooting regular season, but a better postseason, as it can’t be much worse lol.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Thanks @Euclis20 @Cellar-Door.

Just skimmed JT's shooting breakdown on NBA.com He was 6-11 from 30-34 feet, so maybe he needs to step out further. :)

Agree with others that JT's jumper has a lot of moving parts. I don't know if another coach would help a lot but I know it's hard to keep changing mechanics because muscle memory can get mixed-up and then that's a problem. Hopefully JT figures stuff out.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Hey, Pritchard was 1/1 from 50'+. It's just simple trend analysis! Shooting from Mars is the new market inefficiency.
Actually, NBA.com has the one against DAL at 48'.

PP missed a 56' against MIA and an 84' against IND so he's 1-3 from 48+ feet. But agree, seems like he should start shooting these during a game. First of all, they are unguarded and secondly, I'm sure the OReb% on 48'+ shots are really high.

I'm sure CJM would approve that these shots improve the margins.
 

BaseballJones

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I’ve said this for years with him but he has a very slow and clunky shot. Obviously he’s an all-world caliber player but his shooting mechanics are not what you’d teach people.
 

lexrageorge

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Tatum's shooting was fine during the entire regular season (nearly 38% from 3). He then struggled all playoffs for some reason. But it's not like Tatum forgot how to shoot or will never recover. Variance is reality, and Tatum was asked to do a lot more on both ends of the floor once the playoffs started, and there is only so much gas in the tank.
 

The Mort Report

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Tatum's shooting was fine during the entire regular season (nearly 38% from 3). He then struggled all playoffs for some reason. But it's not like Tatum forgot how to shoot or will never recover. Variance is reality, and Tatum was asked to do a lot more on both ends of the floor once the playoffs started, and there is only so much gas in the tank.
I think(hope) it was simply the weight of expectations creeping in the back of his mind. I'd imagine just being a little tight would ruin a shooting motion, even if you can't actually see it. He had massively unfair expectations put upon him from outside, and no matter how he tried to block them out, they are there, he's only human. I think the amount of relief he showed in the moments after winning kinda proves this, and if I were the rest of the NBA I'd be terrified of an unburdened JT in the playoffs moving forward
 

Euclis20

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I think(hope) it was simply the weight of expectations creeping in the back of his mind. I'd imagine just being a little tight would ruin a shooting motion, even if you can't actually see it. He had massively unfair expectations put upon him from outside, and no matter how he tried to block them out, they are there, he's only human. I think the amount of relief he showed in the moments after winning kinda proves this, and if I were the rest of the NBA I'd be terrified of an unburdened JT in the playoffs moving forward
Yeah that's my takeaway. JB seemed to enter the playoffs with the (very healthy) attitude that anyone who didn't believe in him could fuck off, he'd make them look stupid. JT has always been more of a get along type of person, I do think he took some of the criticism more personally than perhaps he should have. He's had unrealistic expectations put on him almost for his entire career (and other than 2018 and 2020, he's been criticized pretty heavily for falling short), I'm very curious to see what he looks like when he's free of that.
 

RorschachsMask

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Yeah that's my takeaway. JB seemed to enter the playoffs with the (very healthy) attitude that anyone who didn't believe in him could fuck off, he'd make them look stupid. JT has always been more of a get along type of person, I do think he took some of the criticism more personally than perhaps he should have. He's had unrealistic expectations put on him almost for his entire career (and other than 2018 and 2020, he's been criticized pretty heavily for falling short), I'm very curious to see what he looks like when he's free of that.
I think it was just a combination of a cold streak, and wonky mechanics.

I don’t disagree about Jaylen’s attitude, but he shot 33% from three himself. He was able to hit mid rangers though, whereas Tatum’s jumper abandoned him entirely.

I do agree with the idea that Tatum has a massive season because he will feel unburdened.
 

TomRicardo

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Tatum's shooting was fine during the entire regular season (nearly 38% from 3). He then struggled all playoffs for some reason. But it's not like Tatum forgot how to shoot or will never recover. Variance is reality, and Tatum was asked to do a lot more on both ends of the floor once the playoffs started, and there is only so much gas in the tank.
If you aren't Steph Curry, Jump shots can get into slumps. Luka was worse than Tatum in the Finals. It happens. Also Tatum took some really sloppy 3s in the playoffs that didn't help.
 

Smokey Joe

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I wonder if it could simply be that he was getting a LOT more attention from defenses in the playoffs. As we saw in the Miami series, he was suddenly the focus of the entire team and receiving a lot more physicality as well.