While he had managed to finish better near the circle in Game 3, Jayson Tatum fell back into his ways in Game 4 of the 2022 Finals. He thus finished the match with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists, but at 8/23 shooting, including 4/15 from 2-pointers, and 6 bullet losses.
“It depends on me, I have to be better”does it fit easily. “I know I impact the game in other ways, but I have to be more efficient, shoot better, finish better around the circle. »
The winger already explains that he is planning on Game 5, which will take place Monday evening in Golden State.
On the side of Ime Udoka and Marcus Smart, the speech has not changed since the start of the playoffs. Jaylen Brown is the Celtics’ puncher who puts opponents on the ropes, but Jayson Tatum has to finish them off. And it’s complicated when he can’t finish his actions near the circle, and he doesn’t weigh in the last quarter.
“Sometimes he looks for the fault”confirms his coach. “It’s a team that closes the game on certain matches. He finds the openings. He shoots above two or three players. It’s the balance between being aggressive, picking his spots and doing what he’s done the last few games, coming out for open shots. It’s the recurring theme so to speak: he goes to the basket, he’s both a scorer and a playmaker. They do a good job with their rotations. Sometimes he looks for faults instead of following through. I’ve seen that in a few games so far. »
This quest for faults, which do not happen, generates loss of ball and frustration for Jayson Tatum who has been 45% successful at 3-pointers since the start of the Finals (14/31) but only 27% at 2 -points (14/51).
“There’s nothing wrong with shooting a floater or a mid-range shot, especially when everyone’s waiting under the circle”
For Ime Udoka, it’s that his player may be focusing too much on the outside shot or the circle.
“He must not refuse to take 2-pointers. A few shots out of the dribble, stuff like that, instead of systematically going to the circle. It doesn’t have to be as boring as that. We talk about this balance, how much we rely on our scoring, and our ability to involve others. Sometimes this balance leads him to take certain shots, or to penetrate too much when he had a good shot, 3-pointer or 2-pointer. There’s nothing wrong with shooting a floater or a mid-range shot, especially when everyone’s waiting under the circle. »
Marcus Smart in any case trusts his comrade to find solutions.
“We constantly let him know that we have to continue. It’s not the first time he’s had a rough time. It won’t be the last time. He has to get out of this. We trust him, we believe in him. It is made for this. Jayson has to get through this and we have to do our job to help him. But, you know, being the player that he is, those are the times when he has to wake up and find solutions. He will do it. We don’t know when it will happen, but we are sure it will happen soon, and we are here to support it. »