Boston’s Jayson Tatum plans to ‘just keep working’ as he, Celtics struggle early in 2021-22 season

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Knowing Jayson Tatum, the Boston Celtics star would have preferred to still be in his early-season scoring slump if that had meant stealing the road win from the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night.

Instead, he helped his team claw their way out of a 19-point hole, putting the team mostly on his back in the absence of fellow All-Star forward Jaylen Brown. Scoring 32 points and 11 boards on 12-of-19 shooting and 6-of-8 from 3-point range, he helped put Boston in a position to win that a last-second miscommunication ultimately wasted. Even with the negative outcome, the St. Louis native was largely positive and seemed pleased to have shaken the funk for the night.

“I made some shots,” related Tatum. “I played better on offense.”

The Duke product continued, noting his offense wasn’t “something I was ever worried about. I knew I was struggling on that end to play well and hit shots.”

“I’ve put too much time and put in so much work to doubt myself, or what I’m capable of. Now, my teammates, my coaches, and everybody we play against, they know what I’m capable of, and I guess you go through stints or periods like that, where things aren’t going how you want them to go. But, you just keep working, embrace it, and just figure it out. It’s a long season, we’ve got a lot of games to play. Obviously, you see everything that people say, you hear everything, but as part of it, you should be worried. If you guys stop talking about me, that’d be a problem.”

But, it is part of the business, part of what I do,” he added.” And I take it with a grain of salt.”

While early defensive lapses and a slow adjustment to the Mavs’ style of play perhaps had as much to do with the loss as the absence of star power for Boston, it bodes well that the team was able to take a punch in the mouth early and nearly come back to win.

With more discipline and a more balanced effort, the Celtics are poised to win more such games moving forward, and having a potential All-NBA player hitting shots again will only improve the odds that they will.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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