Tatum is Holding Back Celtics

Nick Bellofatto '24, Contributing Writer

As high hopes of becoming one of the brightest stars in the NBA, Jayson Tatum has continued to struggle during the 2021-2022 season and is holding the Celtics back from their full potential as a team.

Going into his fourth year, Tatum has ambitions of being one of the NBA’s best, but has remained inconsistent during this season. Tatum’s field goal percentage has decreased significantly this year, shooting 39% which is 5% worse than last year. As well his 3 PT% which is down 6% this year shooting 32% from the field, 3% worse than the average NBA player.

Tatum is the main source of offense for the Celtics and is shooting way too many shots to be playing this poorly as he takes the most shots in the NBA at just over 22 a game. As Jaylen Brown continues to miss games due to a knee injury, Tatum needs to improve his shooting to keep the Celtics in contention for the Eastern Conference championship.

The Celtics are really deep in the position of shooting guard and small forward. With players like Aaron Nesmith, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Romeo Langford, the Celtics have a bright future ahead of them. However, Tatum plays 36 minutes per game, and when Brown played he averaged 38 minutes per game taking away minutes from the young players. The Celtics bench has continued to be a struggle for them throughout the season, as they are 28th in the NBA in bench scoring. Giving the role players more opportunities to thrive will increase the bench players’ ability to play and give our star players more rest.

Team chemistry has constantly been an issue for the Celtics this season as none of the players seem to be clicking with each other. As Celtics shooting struggles continue, players have been blaming each other for their lack of wins.

Celtics guard Marcus Smart in an interview said Celtics’ stars Brown and Tatum need to “start passing” at the end of games instead of wanting to be a hero. Celtics have lost many close games this season including against the Cavs, Mavs, and Wizards, and look to improve their performances during crunch time.

Tatum and Brown are the league’s brightest stars and should look to improve on opening up shots to their teammates. Tatum is only averaging 3.5 assists per game while Brown is only averaging 2.2 per game. As their teammates continue to be frustrated with their stars’ lack of passes, Brown and Tatum should be willing to dish the ball to their trustworthy teammates to make the shot.

Celtics have a bright future ahead of them this season, however, if Tatum continues to struggle throughout the year, then fans will most likely be disappointed by the outcome of the season.