Jayson Tatum plays hurt, struggles in Celtics Game 7 loss to Heat

Per Boston.com:

On Monday night, a rowdy and fervent TD Garden crowd was quickly quieted.

Jayson Tatum, the Celtics’ star player, collapsed to the parquet floor in agony just 34 seconds into a critical Game 7 versus the Heat.

Tatum rose to his feet and rolled his ankle on the landing while attempting to euro-step past Miami point guard Gabe Vincent.

Even though the All-NBA forward continued to play, the damage had already been done.

“I saw the video, I saw it after the game that I came down on my ankle. It’s tough, because it kind of impacted me the rest of the night,” Tatum said following Boston’s season-ending 103-84 loss to the Heat. “It swelled up and it was just frustrating that I was kind of like a shell of myself. It was tough to move. It was just frustrating, especially that [expletive] happened on the first play.”


Official 2022-23 All-NBA Teams

Via ESPN.com:

Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid was named to the All-NBA first team for the first time in his career as the league unveiled all three of its All-NBA squads Wednesday night, while LeBron James extended his all-time record to 19 selections.

Embiid was joined on the first team by Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry headlined the second team with his ninth selection. He was joined by Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler and Celtics forward Jaylen Brown.

James, who has now made an All-NBA team for 19 straight seasons, missing out only in his rookie year, led the third-team selections, along with a pair of Sacramento Kings — center Domantas Sabonis and guard De’Aaron Fox. They were joined by Portland Trail Bla

Jayson Tatum says Kevin Durant is like a brother to him

Via Boston.com:

The Celtics defeated the Nets 103-92 on Sunday, extending the team’s record to a league-best 19-5. Boston faces the Raptors tonight in Toronto at 7:30 p.m…

Following the Celtics’ win over the Nets on Sunday, Jayson Tatum was asked about facing Brooklyn superstar Kevin Durant.

“That’s like a brother to me,” Tatum said of Durant. “Somebody I’ve gotten really close with. Obviously competed against a lot in the playoffs recently. Known since I was in high school, won a gold medal with, worked out with a lot this summer. So somebody that I respect a lot.

“We talk often,” Tatum added. “And those matchups always you enjoy. Somebody that has played at a high level — the highest level — for as long as he has, it brings the best out of you. So you always enjoy those matchups with one of the best players to ever play.”


Celtics forward Jayson Tatum is dealing with a wrist issue

Celtics star forward Jayson Tatum is dealing with what is hopefully a minor issue. Via the Boston Herald:

Tatum is playing a little bit hurt right now. The Celtics star said after Wednesday’s win that he’s managing some discomfort in his left wrist, the same one he revealed that he fractured and played through during last season’s run to the NBA Finals. Tatum had tape on the wrist during Wednesday’s game.

“Same wrist, same hand, something a little different that we’re just managing at this moment,” Tatum said. “Nothing that I got to have surgery. It’s bothering me, but just tape it up and go out there and continue to play.”

The issue hasn’t seemed to affect Tatum’s performances as he’s playing the best basketball of his career to start this season. He’s averaging 31.2 points per game after Wednesday’s 31-point performance – which included 26 in the second half – while playing elite defense.


Jayson Tatum shot off through first four games of NBA Finals

Via the Boston Herald:

As evidenced by Steph Curry’s elevated level of shotmaking in this series, the greatest players are at their best in the NBA Finals.

Jayson Tatum, who has struggled to reach that level heading into Monday night’s Game 5, is still searching to do more after a slow start over the first four. He’s shooting 34% overall (28-for-82) and a particularly rough 27.5% on 2-point attempts, with a 45% 3-point percentage (14-for-31) that’s a bit misleading, considering his lack of opportunities and makes late in those games.

Though the Celtics star has admitted he needs to do more in a scoring sense, he remains focused on making the right play – an approach supported by his assist numbers (7.8 average).

“Obviously I want to win by any means necessary and I’ll do whatever it takes,” Tatum said before Sunday’s practice when asked about building his young legacy on the Finals stage.

“That’s all I really care about right now is winning,” he said.

Draymond Green comments on Jayson Tatum’s play in NBA Finals through Game 4

Via Boston.com:

Celtics star Jayson Tatum hasn’t played to his usual standards through four games of the NBA Finals, but Warriors forward Draymond Green — who has grilled his share of beef with Celtics fans — believes Tatum has still been integral to the Celtics’ success…

“It’s tough,” Green said. “You’re experiencing something for the first time. I think he’s handled it well. He’s maybe not shot the ball as well as he’d like or everyone else would like, but overall I think he’s been playing well, and that’s why it’s a 2-2 series, coming back for Game 5.

“I think he’s handling it all extremely well. He’s taking what the defense gives him, and that’s what great players do. But I think he’s doing a good job.”

Jayson Tatum discusses his shot heading into NBA Finals Game 2

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum did lots of great things in Finals Game 1 – when he wasn’t shooting. Here’s Boston.com on it:

Celtics star Jayson Tatum didn’t shoot well in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. He made just 3-of-17 shots from the field and was 1-of-5 from 3-point range, giving him 12 points on the evening.

Despite that, not only did the Celtics beat the Warriors in Game 1, but they also scored an astonishing 120 points against the league’s second-best defense. A big reason for that was Tatum’s playmaking. He finished with a career-high 13 assists on Thursday, which were also the most ever by a player in their first NBA Finals game.

While Tatum’s certainly expecting to shoot better in Sunday’s Game 2, he said he isn’t going to go out of his way to try and score.

“I don’t think [I’ll try to force shots],” Tatum told reporters at Saturday’s practice. “I had more assists than points last game. So I feel like I made the right play more often than not. You know, it’s not much to overthink. I feel like it’s a lot of shots, the open shots that I miss more often than not that I make.

“So it’s not something that I’m losing sleep over. You know, we won. That was most important, right? It’s the Finals. That’s all that matters. Obviously, I know I’ve got to play better. I can’t shoot like that every game and hopefully we win. I expect to play better shooting-wise, but just impacting the game in different ways to do my part, and let’s get a win. I will continue to do that. Just read the game, read each play. That’s how I kind of approach next game.”

Finals Game 2 is Sunday night at Golden State.

Jayson Tatum scores 54 points in Celtics win over Nets

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum had himself quite a game today on national TV in a win over the Brooklyn Nets. Here’s Boston.com:

As Jayson Tatum stepped to the line late in Sunday’s matinee game against the Nets, chants of “M-V-P” rained down from the rafters.

How can you argue with them? Tatum’s free throws were his 53rd and 54th points in the Celtics‘ 126-120 victory over a Nets team that was nearly whole — missing only Ben Simmons. Tatum rose to the occasion against Kevin Durant, who has arguably been the best player in the world for much longer than he gets credit. He beat double teams. He worked his way to the free-throw line 17 times. He buried eight of his 15 3-point attempts.

“Obviously, when you kind of get in that zone, the basket just seemed to be a little bit bigger,” Tatum said after the game.

Perhaps most importantly, when the Nets forced the ball out of his hands, he was a willing passer. The biggest shot of the game was Jaylen Brown’s back-breaking corner triple with 39 seconds remaining which was assisted by Marcus Smart, but the advantage was created when the Nets double-teamed Tatum.

“[Tatum] was unstoppable,” Brown said afterward. “I think that helps with your offense, right?”

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Jayson Tatum and Karl-Anthony Towns named NBA Players of the Week

Celtics All-Star forward Jayson Tatum has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week and Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Dec. 13-19.

It is the first time this season – and the fifth time in Tatum’s career – that he has received the conference’s weekly award.

Tatum produced a team-best 31.3 points on 50.0% shooting (36.1% 3-PT, 86.7% FT), 7.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals, and 38.8 minutes over three home games – including two Boston wins – against Milwaukee, Golden State, and New York. He registered at least 25 points and 5+ rebounds in each of the three contests, including a season-high 42 points on 16-of-25 shooting (7-13 3-PT) in Boston’s 117-103 victory over the Bucks on Dec. 13.

In 30 games this season (all starts), Tatum has averaged 26.2 points (42.3% FG, 33.2% 3-PT, 81.9% FT), a career-high 8.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 36.5 minutes. He has tallied at least 20 points in all nine games played in the month of December, averaging 30.6 points on 48.7% shooting (36.6% 3-PT), 8.8 rebounds, and 3.4 assists during that stretch.

This is the fifth time in his career that Towns has won the weekly award (Nov. 20, 2017, April 11, 2016, Mar. 13, 2017 and Oct. 28, 2019). Towns joins Kevin Garnett (15 times) as the only players in Timberwolves history to win the league’s weekly award five or more times.

Towns is the only player in the NBA this season to average 20+ ppg while shooting 50% or better from the field and 40% or better from three. Following the 3-0 week by the Timberwolves, he ranks 12th in the NBA in scoring (24.4 ppg) and tied for 17th in rebounds (9.0 rpg).

The 7-0 center has helped the Timberwolves climb back to .500 on the season, moving to 15-15 after Sunday night’s 111-105 win over the Dallas Mavericks, tied for the second-best 30-game start for the Wolves since 2006-07.

In the Dec. 15 124-107 victory at Denver, Towns scored 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting, while adding four rebounds, four assists and three steals, marking his seventh 30+ point game of the season and extending his franchise record to 85 career games with 30 or more points. With his three-pointer with 6:40 left in the third quarter against the Nuggets, Towns eclipsed 10,000 career points, joining Garnett as the only players in Timberwolves history to score 10,000+ points. He additionally became the first player from the 2015 draft class to notch 10,000 career points.

On Dec. 17 against the Los Angeles Lakers, Towns tallied his 12th 20+ point/10+ rebound game of the season (218th career), finishing with 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Since he entered the league in 2015-16, no other player has registered more 20/10 games.

Towns finished the week on Dec. 19 against the Mavericks, leading the way for the Wolves with 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists, accounting for his 24th 20+ point game of the season (292nd career). He shot 11-of-13 from the charity stripe, marking a season-high for free throws made and was his third game of the season tallying 10+ free throws. The stat line also marked Towns’ seventh game of the season with 20+ points/5+ rebounds/5+ assists.

Celtics on four-game winning streak

On the court, the Celtics are on a four-game winning streak. Off the court, some phone calls are being made. Via Boston.com:

When former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins criticized Celtics star Jayson Tatum for his body language during a loss to the 76ers earlier in April, it may have been a turning point for the Celtics.

The Celtics won their fourth straight game since Perkins’s criticism on Tuesday, and the player-turned-analyst shared that Tatum reached out to him to discuss the criticism. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge appreciated that Tatum did that.

“I love the fact that Jayson Tatum picked up the phone and called Perk. That’s good that they have that connection,” Ainge said in an interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich” Thursday. “I know that Perk only cares for Jayson’s success. I think that there’s players available (to talk), and I also know that players in our league now, they’re listening to other players.”