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Ime Udoka on Jayson Tatum's performance in 91-89 loss to Cavs

 As I wrote previously, Jayson Tatum may end up as the top, all-time scorer in Celtics history, but he remains far away from contending for BEST all-time. Rookie head coach, Ime Udoka got it right with his post-game appraisal of Tatum's performance:

''Jayson showed frustration on his shots, but you've got to play through that,'' Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. ''He had some turnovers late -- some sloppy ones -- but he has to find a way to affect the game in a positive way when his shot isn't falling.'' 

Jayson was getting his shots off (22 of them), but they weren't falling. He was 8-of-22 (36%) from the field and 1-of-8 (12%) on treys. His other stats? Four rebounds, two assists and six turnovers. Udoka called some of those miscues "sloppy ones". 

After 13 games and a career-high 37.4 MPG this season, Tatum is hitting career lows in FG% (.388), 3-pointers (.321) and free throws (.742). He has become a better rebounder (8.5 RPG), but his assists are down from last season. 

Every former Celtics superstar had periods of terrible shooting. It is inevitable. What is inexcusable is persisting in a failed endeavor when it happens. "Affect the game in a positive way"! Work harder - rebound the ball - up your defense - get open shots for your teammates. After six decades of Celtics-watching, I rate Jayson Tatum as one of the highest-level talents to take to the parquet. That means nothing if the talent is not employed to it's fullest.


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