Celtics

Celtics

BOSTON -- Jayson Tatum knew something wasn’t right.

The second-year forward has been in the NBA long enough to know that there are going to be stretches when, for whatever reason, shots don’t fall. 

But as an elite 3-point shooter, Tatum was in the kind of drought a player with his long-range skills rarely experiences. 

So, he did what so many other NBA players do...he reached out to Drew Hanlen. 

Hanlen, one of the more heralded NBA skills coaches around whose clientele reads like a who’s who of promising young NBA stars - Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine, Joel Embiid and a trio of Celtics players, including Tatum - was in Boston over the weekend working with Tatum and his shot.

The fruits of that labor were on display in the 114-93 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night. 

Tatum had 18 points, which included connecting on four of his 11 three-point attempts. 

It was an improvement from what we’ve seen from Tatum lately from behind the 3-point line. 

After having shot 40.6 percent from 3-point range as a rookie, Tatum is connecting on just 36.7 percent on 3’s this season. 

And that figure has been trending downwards lately. 

In the five games prior to the win over the Mavs, Tatum had missed 15 of his 17 3-point attempts, which included his last eight.

“It helped me out a lot,” Tatum told NBC Sports Boston of his weekend sessions working with Hanlen. “When shots aren’t really falling the way you want them to, you have to get back in the gym and get back to what got you here.”

 

And we saw a lot of that from the outset on Friday as Tatum scored 10 of his 18 points in the first quarter, which included a couple of three-pointers. 

Tatum said Hanlen pointed out a couple of “minor things” that he wasn’t doing as well as he normally does.

After spending some time addressing those areas, Tatum acknowledged it put him in a much better frame of mind heading into the game Friday. 

“Like I said, he helped me get back in the right mindset, just trying to be aggressive from the start,” Tatum said. “So it was good for me.”

Good for him and the Celtics, who will need Tatum’s scoring punch even more now with Kyrie Irving (right eye irritation) and Marcus Morris (neck) out indefinitely. 

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