Jayson Tatum made quite the first impression during his rookie year in Boston. So much so, in fact, that his second year with the Celtics — while still strong — had some thinking he dropped off.
Statistically, yes, the 21-year-old did shoot worse from downtown during the 2018-19 season than the year prior, but he still made nearly 38 percent of his 3-pointers.
Tatum is entering Year 3 in green and his skills coach believes the young forward is as “locked in” as ever.
?I mean, he shot 40 percent over his first two years in the NBA,? Drew Hanlen said, per the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach. ?I think people overcriticize him. If he would have shot 37 percent his rookie season, everyone would have freaked out, and now he shot 37 and people look at is as a drop-off. But I think there was just some frustration with him not being in the role he thought he would be in after the previous season.?
It certainly makes sense about being frustrated, given the tumultuous year Boston had as a whole with all the drama surrounding it and Tatum taking on less minutes with a fully healthy Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving.
But with Irving a member of the Brooklyn Nets, Kemba Walker in as Irving’s replacement and some added work in 3-point shooting, Tatum very well could have himself one heck of a season.
But what’s been the main focus of getting Tatum ready?
?Driving and getting downhill through contact and being able to finish around the rim is our No. 1 focus,? Hanlen said. ?And then consistency when he?s shooting off the dribble or off a full-speed move from the 3-point line. Those are our two things, just getting to the rim and drawing fouls, and finishing when you do get to the rim, and then consistency with threes. We just want him to be more efficient, and we think he will be. He?s as locked in as I?ve ever seen him. He?s very, very locked in.?
Only time will tell how Tatum pans out this season. But if he continues to stay “locked in,” he’ll pose a massive threat to opponents.