What Jayson Tatum needs to improve upon No. 2) Improving floater game
In the bubble last season, Jayson Tatum looked unstoppable as an offensive force.
He was getting anywhere he wanted, making every shot he created and doing so against elite defenses.
Teams could not take away his deep ball because if they pressed too high, Tatum would blow right by them and head right to the rim.
These concerns were especially relevant in pick and roll, where Tatum was a deadly pull-up shooting threat.
To slow Tatum down, Nick Nurse and Eric Spoelstra decided to give Tatum a lane to the basket, but they did not show him the rim.
Instead, they left it up to Tatum to determine how he was going to score. He could either pull up from mid-range or get a tad bit closer and throw up a floater.
It was tough for Tatum to decide when which shot applied to the given defense, as simple as these two decisions are. This defensive scheme made Tatum shoot a lot of ill-advised threes and slowed down his scoring consistency, and it played a large part in Boston’s elimination.
Tatum did improve his floater a bit this past season, but he still has a long way to go.
Tatum shot 38 percent from 3-10 feet in last year’s playoffs, whereas this season he hit an improved 41 percent from the same distance.
He’s improved but not enough to eliminate the possibility of an opposing defense deploying the same scheme the Heat and Raptors did.
He needs to add this to his scoring repertoire to make his pull-up game that much more unguardable and make it so he can’t be schemed against on the offensive end.
Playing in the Olympics where teams are more physical and harder to drive will help a lot.