Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum knows his team is in a slump, having lost three straight games. Following their 117-112 loss against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, the three-time All-Star discussed Boston’s latest struggles.
“We gotta learn how to win again,” said Tatum. “It’s not as simple as that, but we have to get back to having fun. We’re playing a little timid, a little tight. Basketball’s supposed to be fun.”
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Jayson Tatum on tonight’s loss:
Obviously not ideal.
We just gotta re-group, we gotta learn how to win again…we gotta get back to having fun…basketball is supposed to be fun. pic.twitter.com/3zGybidP2e
— Cameron Tabatabaie (@CTabatabaie) December 22, 2022
“I think we’re playing a little timid, a little tight,” added Tatum. “Basketball is supposed to be fun; it’s supposed to be loose. It’s supposed to be competitive. I get a sense of everybody wants to make every shot, myself included. Our body language when we miss shots is contagious.”
Tatum led the Celtics in scoring with 41 points on Wednesday night. Along with ended his performance with five rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one block, he shot 13-of-25 (52%) from the field and knocked down four 3-pointers.
Jayson Tatum believes the Celtics are losing because they’re not having fun, playing with a lack of determination
Through 30 starts this season, the sixth-year player is averaging career highs of 30.6 points, 8.1 boards, and 37.2 minutes per game. Plus, he’s shooting 47.2% from the floor and 35.8% from downtown. At the moment, sportsbooks show Tatum as the betting favorite to win MVP this season.
Of course, Boston played without Marcus Smart due to a non-COVID illness. Although the C’s outscored Indiana 42-29 in the third quarter, the Pacers led 71-43 at halftime. Considering this matchup was at TD Garden, it appears the Celtics have lost a step.
“That second half showed us we can have and play with a sense of urgency, and I think we will.”
Our team felt a shift in the second half of Wednesday night's matchup vs. Indiana and hopes to carry that momentum into the next game.https://t.co/EqoZz0tpK5
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 22, 2022
“We just didn’t play with a great sense of urgency, didn’t play with awareness and didn’t play with a sense of details,” Boston interim coach Joe Mazzulla said after the loss.
Furthermore, the Celtics rank second in scoring this season, averaging 118 points per game. Also, they lead the league in offensive efficiency rating (1.141). However, the team is mediocre on defense. Boston is allowing 112.3 points per game, which ranks 13th overall.
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