Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum prepared for the possibility of undergoing surgery this offseason, but it never happened.

All throughout last season, Tatum dealt with wrist discomfort and still managed to average a career-high 30.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists over the course of 74 games. Although the 25-year-old was able to shake off the injury and lead the way for Boston in the regular season, the looming concerns of addressing the wrist returned after the Celtics were eliminated in the Eastern Conference finals by the Miami Heat.

“He went into the offseason thinking he might need surgery on his non-shooting wrist,” ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported Friday on “NBA Today”. “Went to a bunch of specialists and essentially decided, ‘I’m not gonna get the surgery, I don’t need it,’ got a cortisone shot, he said it feels really good. And now that he’s going to be having more of a ball-handling role because Marcus Smart is not there anymore, he said, ‘I basically did this all last year during the playoffs. I’m very comfortable in that role initiating the defense.'”

Whether or not Tatum’s wrist played a factor in his ineffectiveness to come through in late-game situations against Miami or not is unknown, but the decision is no less serious. Tatum is Boston’s undisputed No. 1 guy, with plenty of responsibility amid an upcoming season in which the Celtics themselves have plenty to prove.

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Tatum is no exception to that either.

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After an MVP-caliber first half, Tatum’s elite run slowed down, averaging 25.5 points through February — Tatum’s lowest-scoring month.

Are they the deep, playoff-contending youngsters destined for Banner 18 or just another pushover when the going gets rough? The Celtics have underachieved for the most part despite having plenty of front office support, and favorable circumstances in the playoffs which they’ve abused rather than capitalized on.

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Taum will ultimately be the lead cause in which direction the pendulum swings for the Celtics, yet again, when the season tips off in October.

Featured image via Rob Gray/USA TODAY Sports Images