The Boston Celtics are up 2-0 in the 2024 NBA Finals, but for some odd reason Jayson Tatum’s lack of scoring has been a major storyline.

It’s the nature of what NBA discussions are focused on, and although many of us find it ridiculous considering his overall impact, the fact of the matter is that he’s struggled getting shots to fall.

Tatum himself would agree.

“I understand that I do need to be more efficient,” Tatum said Tuesday, per league-provided video. “I do need to shoot the ball better. I wouldn’t disagree with anybody on that, but I’m not letting that bother me. I’m still trying to find ways to impact the game and dominate the game in other areas.

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“I understand that it could take one game — one game I could explode and all those percentages could change… I know what it’s like to be in this position and lose, though, so this time around I’m doing any and everything possible to have a different outcome.”

It’s been popular for people to choose one side of the Tatum discourse, but as always, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

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The Celtics have seen eight players collect a better shooting percentage through two games than the 26-year-old — who struggled similarly in the 2022 NBA Finals. It’s now become a trend, and criticism is going to be heavier because of it.

Boston has seen its superstar impact the game in every other way outside of scoring, though.

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Tatum is averaging 17 points, 10 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 0.5 blocks and steals through both games, becoming an incredibly important defender at the rim. He’s been the best playmaker on the court at times, accounting for more potential assists than any other player in the series not named Luka Doncic. The Celtics would love to have him scoring 30 every night, but even without that, Tatum has been their most valuable player. It’s also not out of the question that he will have that game, either.

“It’s just that mindset of, ‘I’m one game away,'” Tatum said. “… I know I need to shoot the ball better, and I plan on it.”

Featured image via Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports Images