Jackie MacMullan: Celtics 'Didn't Love' Jayson Tatum's Mindset to Start Season

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2019

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 30: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics shoots against Pat Connaughton #24 of the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum on April 30, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jayson Tatum has struggled immensely in the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 4.5 points while shooting just 24.3 percent from the field in the first two games.

And that performance is perhaps indicative of Tatum's struggles to blend in with Boston's other star players throughout the season.

"At the beginning of the season, maybe he came in with a different mindset that the team didn't love, quite frankly," ESPN's Jackie MacMullan said on Wednesday's episode of The Jump, referencing Tatum's habit to operate in isolation and slow adjustment to the return of players like Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, who weren't a part of Boston's postseason run from a year ago when Tatum played like a superstar. 

"The problem with this team: When they don't score, it snowballs the wrong way," she added. "... And Tatum has been a problem for months."

It's a problem the Celtics will need to address if they're to make a run to the NBA Finals. More importantly, it's something the team will need to figure out if Tatum is to remain a centerpiece for the organization in the years to come.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.