Celtics

Shooting coach gets Celtics' Jayson Tatum back on track

Shooting coach gets Celtics' Jayson Tatum back on track

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. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE


 

Celtics get swimming lessons from Olympic medalists Cullen Jones, Elizabeth Beisel

Celtics get swimming lessons from Olympic medalists Cullen Jones, Elizabeth Beisel

Sunday was an eventful off-day for several of the Boston Celtics' stars, who got to hang with some of the finest American swimmers we'll see this summer in Tokyo.

Kemba Walker got some schwag from Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones and Elizabeth Beisel:

 

Elsewhere, Grant Williams got in the pool and took some lessons:

The swimmers teamed up with the Celtics to encourage more youths to pick up swimming. The benefits, as Williams explained, are manifold:

"It’s not only about learning a skill, but it’s just fun. I enjoyed being in the water," Williams said. "It felt pretty cool to be able to say you know how to swim, and it’s a workout. Some people hate lifting weights. Some people hate running. Swimming is one of those things that gets your whole body into it — your arms, your legs — and you’re breathing, so I think it not only allows you to live longer, but look a little bit better as you get up there in age."

Even Danny Ainge was getting in on the fun . . .

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Lakers, which begins Monday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.

Jaylen Brown (thumb) and Kemba Walker (knee) questionable for Celtics vs. Lakers

Jaylen Brown (thumb) and Kemba Walker (knee) questionable for Celtics vs. Lakers

The Boston Celtics are going to be facing a tough task on Monday afternoon as they look to snap a three-game losing streak. They'll be taking on the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers in the Lakers' only trip to Boston of the regular season.

But in the game, the Celtics may be down a few key players.

According to the team's official Twitter account, both Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker are questionable for the game while Robert Williams will once again be out with a hip injury.

Brown has missed the last two games, both losses, with a thumb injury while Walker missed Saturday night's loss to the Suns with a sore right knee. The team would probably like to get at least one of them back given their recent struggles (2-6 in their past eight games).

Brown has averaged 20 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game this season for the Celtics and is shooting an efficient 49.2 percent from the field. Walker, meanwhile, is the team's leading scorer and he has averaged 22.1 points per game to go along with a team-high 4.9 assist per game. If both miss the game, the C's will seriously miss their respective presences. 

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

That said, the Celtics could benefit from the Lakers not being at full strength for the contest. They have a couple of key players that will be questionable in the lead-up to the game and that includes Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo, according to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell.

Davis has missed the last five Lakers games with the injury and the fact that he didn't practice on Sunday morning could make him truly questionable for the game. So far this season, Davis is averaging 27.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.6 blocks per game for the Lakers and has served as a perfect superstar complement to LeBron James.

As for Rondo, the former Celtic has been a great bench option for the Lakers and is averaging 7.6 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game as the team's sixth man. Rondo has missed the past three games with his finger injury and it remains to be seen if he'll be ready to return in front of the TD Garden crowd.

We'll have more updates on these players as tip-off for Monday night's game draws nearer.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Lakers, which begins Monday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.