Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum had himself a rollercoaster of a Playoffs. With the help of Jalen Brown, Marcus Smart, and their role players, Boston overachieved by making it to the NBA Finals. But like every young rising team, their inexperience cost them many mistakes. Tatum, in particular, was the frontrunner in a specific category that proved to be the Celtics’ kryptonite during their Playoff run.
The king of turnovers
According to StatMuse, the 24-year-old All-Star made NBA history by being the first player with 100 turnovers in a single postseason. Yikes! 100 turnovers is a wild stat. Tatum averaged 23.2 points, 7.0 assists, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.6 turnovers entering Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Those are mediocre stats for his standards (considering that he can do so much better), but if there’s one thing Tatum needs to work on, it’s taking care of the ball.
Tatum is only 24 years old, which means having weaknesses like this is normal. It’s also important to point out that the five-year player reportedly dealt with a nerve issue in his shoulder throughout the Playoffs. Luckily for him and the Celtics, he has a lot of time in the offseason to rehab and work on his game.
Experience is the best teacher.
Tatum will enter this summer with more Playoff experience and knowledge about what it’s like to compete on the biggest stage. For Boston, that’s a huge advantage moving forward. At least Tatum has shown his growth as a player this season, specifically with his playmaking (maybe that’s why he turned the ball over so much?) and scoring. Besides taking care of the ball, the rising superstar must also work on reading defenses and taking over high-stake games.
During the Finals, Brown outperformed Tatum and could’ve arguably been the Finals MVP if the Celtics won two more games. A big reason why Tatum struggled in the Finals is because of Andrew Wiggins and the Golden State Warriors’ defense. Their coverages were excellent, and it gave Tatum nightmares.
However, at least Tatum now knows that the next step he has to make for his improvement is learning to counter elite defenses and adjust to them on the fly during the game itself.
As mentioned above, Tatum is still a very young player. He might have had a horrible Finals, but at the end of the day, this experience should help him grow as a player. Whether or not he uses this moment to motivate him and improve his game will be the biggest question for Tatum moving forward.