Jayson Tatum Says He 'Hasn't Touched a Basketball' Since Celtics' Last Game

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 13, 2020

Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum plays against the Houston Rockets in overtime during an NBA basketball game in Boston, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The NBA is on hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, and so is Boston Celtics swingman Jayson Tatum.

Tatum joined ESPN's Rachel Nichols on Monday's episode of The Jump and revealed he "hasn't touched a basketball" since his team's last game before the league suspended the 2019-20 season shortly after Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11.

Boston's last game was a 114-111 victory over the Indiana Pacers on March 10.

The Celtics were well-positioned before the season was suspended, having already clinched the a playoff berth with a 43-21 record. They are the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and three games back of the second-seeded Toronto Raptors.

Tatum's ascension as a go-to option after Kyrie Irving's departure this offseason is a major reason Boston has enjoyed so much success in 2019-20.

He made his first All-Star Game and is averaging 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game, which are all career-high marks. The 22-year-old can attack the basket, hit from the outside (39.8 percent from three-point range) when defenders collapse on Kemba Walker and contribute on the boards from the wing.

If play does resume, Tatum will be a key figure for the Celtics' hopes of reaching the NBA Finals.

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While it remains unclear if the NBA will have the opportunity to finish its season, ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported the league is "looking at a 25-day return-to-basketball window" that will feature 11 days of individual workouts and 14 days of team training camps before it returns to actual games. 

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told TNT's Ernie Johnson he and the league will not decide on whether the season will continue until at least May.