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#pounditWednesday, December 7, 2022

Jayson Tatum reveals he played through significant injury during playoffs

Jayson Tatum puts his hand in the air

May 15, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) celebrates during the second half of their win over the Milwaukee Bucks in game seven of the second round of the 2022 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum was playing through pain on the way to the NBA Finals this past season.

In an interview with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report, Tatum revealed that he had played through a non-displaced fracture in his wrist during the regular season and playoffs. The nature of the injury meant that it had largely healed by the time the playoffs came around, but that it was frequently aggravated and exacerbated by contact.

“In the playoffs, there was a play against Milwaukee in Game 3. I dunked it, Giannis (Antetokounmpo) chased me down and he fouled me, and I fell into the crowd. That was the most painful it’s been since the day I hurt it. I ended up getting a cortisone shot in my wrist that night.

“After each game, I would have to wear a brace to shootaround, and I would take it off before the cameras saw me. Pregame, taking my nap, I’d have to put it back on.”

Tatum added that no one outside of the organization knew that he was dealing with an injury.

Interestingly, in Game 3 against Milwaukee, Tatum shot 4-of-19 and scored just ten points. That certainly aligns with the thought that he was in a lot of pain after aggravating the issue. It might also explain what many saw as a poor NBA Finals performance against Golden State, where Tatum averaged 21.5 points, over six points below his season average.

Tatum was particularly scrutinized for his showing in Game 6. Perhaps things would have been different had he been fully healthy at that time.

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