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Let me start by saying the Boston Celtics' recent offensive woes are not the fault of Jayson Tatum.


Or rather, not Jayson by himself, but in a lot of ways, the sophomore wing has exemplified the Celtics problem by becoming part of a team of late-career Kobe Bryants, settling for jumpers and avoiding the paint, resulting in lost games and a general dissatisfaction with the team as a whole.

But that is not what I am here to write about, mostly because I have already written about it, but also because it seems increasingly likely that the young player has picked up some bad habits over the summer with a very attributable source, and it's not just Celtics fans picking up on this possibility.

In case I haven't tipped you off with my ever-so-subtle manner of broaching the topic, there's a growing consensus around the league that Tatum has picked up more than Kobe's killer instinct after working out with the Hall of Fame nemesis of the green and white, launching an alarming ten percent more mid-range jump shots than last season while also shooting 15 percent fewer attempts near the cup.

More than half his shots have been pull-up jumpers, too, and while some of those have been open treys, a lot have not, and as much as Jayson may be one of the better offensive options on Boston's roster, he's showing some really concerning tendencies with how he's using that talent.

While he may be fulfilling the wish some of us had last season by playing more aggressively and shooting more than he did in his rookie season, this isn't exactly what we were asking for, and mixed in with everyone else's version of the same problem, is exactly the wrong direction to be taking, both individually for Tatum, and for the team overall.

I have confidence the team will turn things around (it's important to remember this is arguably the toughest stretch of one of the toughest schedules in the league) with games against the Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, and Cleveland Cavaliers late in November, but they need to build good habits on this road trip to avoid a rough start becoming a disappointing season.

And cutting out these Kobe-esque jumpers might just be a good place to start.

For more stories by Justin, click here.



Image: Charles Krupa/AP
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 11/06/2018 06:01:00 PM Edit
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