The Celtics’ 2021-22 season felt long and arduous. For the first three months of the season, Boston’s play was unreliable, leading many to believe that the Celtics were not a legitimate NBA Finals contender. Despite this, the Celtics proved their enemies wrong with a strong regular-season finish that earned them the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed. Check out the best bookmakers for betting on the NBA.
Boston annihilated the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs before advancing to seven-game series against the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat, led by franchise cornerstones Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Unfortunately, the Celtics are coming off a disappointing season finale in which they were defeated in six games by the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Tatum and the Celtics have a lot to learn from their NBA Finals encounter, and there are clear areas for improvement heading into next season.
Following Jayson Tatum’s underwhelming performance in the NBA Finals, Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens told the star that he would be delighted to hear from him. He wants the All-NBA first-team to take a break from the game.
“I just told him, ‘Go on vacation. Go get some rest,” Stevens told reporters about his post-Finals message to Tatum on Tuesday.
Brad Stevens on his message to Jayson Tatum: “I just told him, 'Go on vacation. Go get some rest.' This guy gave us everything he had.”
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) June 21, 2022
This rest is necessary after a regular season in which Tatum ended up playing the fourth-most minutes and a lengthy playoff run in which he played the most minutes of any NBA player. While Tatum has experience on his side, it appeared that the rigors of a long season caught up with him near the end of the playoffs.
However, his points per game average tumbled with each series, and he became the first player in NBA history to commit 100 turnovers in a single postseason.
Furthermore, during the NBA Finals, he averaged 21.5 points per game while shooting 36.7 percent from the field—a significant drop from his regular season average of 26.9 points per game on 45.3 percent shooting.
Despite the Celtics’ loss in the NBA Finals, Stevens is proud of Tatum’s accomplishments this season, as is the rest of the team. He described Tatum as a hard-working athlete. The 24-year-old has also made noticeable progress in each season thus far, and he’ll undeniably be eager to continue his tenacity once he returns to the grind after a well-deserved break.
“[He] gave us everything he had,” Stevens said. “He’s a superstar that doesn’t want to sit.”
“What Jayson and Jaylen [Brown] have done in the playoffs, historically, at their ages, is rarified air,” he later added.
Tatum should take a vacation to mentally reset and escape some of the media criticism he has received. And by the end of the offseason, Tatum will have taken his first extended break from basketball in a long time.
Tatum spent the summer of 2019 representing Team USA in the FIBA Basketball World Cup. He played in the NBA bubble during the summer of 2020 when Boston forced the Miami Heat to a decisive Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals. The following year, he helped the United States win gold at the Olympics in Tokyo.
Essentially, he hasn’t gotten much of a break from basketball during the regular NBA offseason. However, the upcoming months provide Tatum with an opportunity to finally get some real rest and hopefully recharge for another run to the finals.
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