Boston Celtics: 3 things Jayson Tatum needs to improve on in 2021-22

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Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The last two seasons of Jayson Tatum’s career with the Boston Celtics have been full of spontaneous breakouts and adding new skills at random points inside the season.

He put together his defense last year, he laid a foundation for his playmaking in the bubble, and this year he figured out his scoring woes at the basket.

With some added weight and more patience in the paint, Jayson Tatum had the best finishing season of his career while developing a floater in the process.

We know Jayson Tatum will surprise us with something new in the middle of next season at this point in his career.

He will work like a dog all summer with his trainer Drew Hanlen, but the results usually take a month or two to sink into his game. It is a frustrating process sometimes, but when he puts it all together and balls out against another team, there’s no better feeling for a Boston Celtics fan.

Jayson Tatum already made the leap many expected him to take next season in the Celtics’ short playoff appearance. The All-Star wing figured it out in the playoffs against Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving.

Although Tatum broke through as a finisher, he struggled to draw contact and get to the line to get him a free two points during the regular season.

Not this time though for, in five games against the Brooklyn Nets, Jayson Tatum averaged 9.8 free throw attempts per game and shot 91 percent from the line.

That free throw rate catapulted his scoring numbers into 30 points per game territory and allowed him to go off for 50 and 40 points, respectively. This scoring improvement is tremendous for Tatum, but there are a few other things the young stud out of Duke still needs to work on:

What Jayson Tatum needs to improve upon No. 1) Processing speed

Jayson Tatum took a massive leap as a passer last year between the bubble and the 2020-21 regular season.

He was better at passing out of doubles and manipulating defenses to get the ball to where he wanted it to go. His touch was better, and Tatum’s vision was much improved.

He threw skip passes, performed dump-offs under the rim, and developed great chemistry with Robert Williams in pick and roll.

However, Tatum still showed his immaturity as a lead decision-maker.

He sometimes lacked the awareness to see open guys, and he didn’t have the touch or timing down to make higher-level reads under the rim or out of tight coverages. I’m not saying he has to be Jokic or Doncic, but Tatum should prioritize trying to learn these coverages and learning who is open due to them.

Tatum has some of the best scoring gravity in the league, ranking in the 92nd percentile in rim gravity, in the 96th percentile in midrange gravity, and in the 98th percentile in 3-point gravity.

With another scoring leap likely on the way, it is imperative Tatum improves as a passer so he can leverage his scoring gravity against tighter defenses to create more high-quality shots for his teammates.

The Olympics will help a lot with this, and I expect Tatum to come into the 2021-22 season with some new tricks in his passing bag.

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