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Home » Jayson Tatum’s Inattentiveness Costs Celtics in Defeat Against Suns

Jayson Tatum’s Inattentiveness Costs Celtics in Defeat Against Suns

04 February 2023, Saturday
After a dominant outing against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, the Boston Celtics failed to stay atop their performance and wallow in an embarrassing loss to the Phoenix Suns.

On Friday night, spurred by a feeble performance from Jayson Tatum, the Celtics lost 106-94, snapping a two-game win streak. Boston has now dropped four of their previous six games and are in dire need of Marcus Smart's presence. Despite this rough patch, the Celtics remain first in the Eastern Conference, with a slight 1.5-game advantage over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Jaylen Brown began strong for the Boston Celtics, contributing 12 points in the initial frame. This was after he posted a tweet with the words "energy shifting". Brown was the only Boston player to take heed of his message, with the rest still struggling to find their focus.

The Boston Celtics' offense was dismal during the opening half of the game, with a regression in shooting from their game two nights prior. This made the Celtics faithful ponder if the frigid temperatures outside the arena had some effect on the squad's performance. Despite their 7-0 start, Boston still found themselves down 13 points by the end of the half.

The third quarter saw a shift from the Boston Celtics as they outscored the Phoenix Suns 29-17. Brown continued his strong play with 27 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, but the rest of the Cs could not follow suit, allowing the Suns to take full advantage. An 8-0 run to begin the fourth quarter saw Phoenix pull away, securing their victory and inflicting the Celtics' first double-digit loss at home since November 2021. This game marks the ninth time this season that Boston has lost when trailing by eight or more points at halftime.

Tatum failed to bring his usual energy to the court as the Celtics took on a lower-caliber opponent tonight, and it has been a concerning trend all season long. His poor performance resulted in an underwhelming 20 points, shooting 3-for-15 from the field and 3-for-10 from the 3-point line, leaving little doubt that he had no interest in the game.

Tatum has a focus issue which could cost the Celtics the number one seed and could threaten his spot in the MVP race if he continues to underperform against weaker rivals. It is essential for him to bring his best game to the court each time, regardless of the opposition. The Celtics need him to excel if they are to stay on top.

The Celtics have been abysmal offensively over the past six games, with the absence of Marcus Smart certainly felt. In this period, the Celtics have been held to below the 100-point mark three times, which is a shocking result considering how potent their offense has been. Regardless of any criticism Smart may have had recently, he is an indispensible component of the Celtics, and as a result of his absence, the team has seriously suffered.
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