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#pounditWednesday, May 29, 2024

Celtics coach shares noteworthy criticism of Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum warming up

Jan 4, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during warm ups prior to the against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka shared a noteworthy criticism of Jayson Tatum after Boston lost Game 4 of the NBA Finals 107-97 to the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

Tatum had 23 points but shot just 8/23 in his team’s defeat. He is shooting 33.4 percent from the field and averaging 22.3 points per game this series. Both the points and field goal percentage are Tatum’s worst in any of the team’s four playoff series this postseason.

Udoka was asked after Game 4 about Tatum’s struggles at the rim. The coach gave an in-depth response and said that Tatum seems to be looking for fouls too much.

“At times he’s looking for fouls … sometimes hunting fouls instead of going to finish. I’ve seen that in a few games so far,” Udoka said.

For all the foul hunting Tatum did, he only went to the line five times (he was 3/5 on free throws).

Boston led 94-90 with under five minutes left. They were outscored 17-3 thereafter. The biggest reason for the collapse was their focus on threes. Boston missed their final seven shots, six of which were 3-pointers. Tatum was one of six Boston players to miss a 3-pointer at the end of the game.

Maybe Udoka’s criticism will light a fire under Tatum for Game 5 on Monday night.

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