Tatum, the Celtics’ top scorer during the playoffs in 2021–22, had some difficulties in the six-game series with the Warriors.
During the Finals, the three-time NBA All-Star produced 21.5 points, following Jaylen Brown who averaged 23.5 points. Tatum disclosed that he played with an injury for the duration of the playoffs more than two months after the Warriors won the NBA title at TD Garden.
Jayson Tatum talks to Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks during a live session on Sunday: “It showed that I had a non-displaced fracture in my [left] wrist.”
He further added:
“A non-displaced chip, so like I chipped a bone but it didn’t leave the surface, right? But it had shown that the bone had grown over it, so it had healed, but I was still in pain because I kept getting hit or falling on it. So, I guess I played with somewhat of a fracture for like two months.”
Tatum first hurt his wrist during a matchup against Atlanta Hawks on February 13. He used a pad tapped to ease his wrist during games but wasn’t able to control the pain. After a hard foul, he had to receive a cortisone shot during the playoffs to deal with the discomfort.
Tatum’s performance saw a downfall
Tatum’s field goal percentage dropped from 45.3% during the regular season of 2021–22 to 36.7% over the course of the six games versus the Warriors. Tatum only succeeded in scoring 13 points on 6-of-18 hitting in the series decider game. He admired that to some extent he exaggerated the injury during the playoffs and also received temporary therapy to allow him to participate. Whether Tatum underwent proper treatment on his wrist this offseason is still unclear.
Jayson told Rooks:
“And then in the playoffs, there was a play against Milwaukee in Game 3. I dunked it. Giannis [Antetokounmpo] chased me down and fouled me and I fell into the crowd. And that was the most painful it’s been since that day that I hurt it. And I end up getting a cortisone shot in my wrist that night and you can see it. I’ve lost color in my hand because it kills the fat cells and there’s not a lot of fat in my hand, so I’ve lost color right there.”
Tatum is among the youngest and most impactful players, who has outplayed the opposition with his terrific form at the age of 24. He is expected to make a healthy comeback in the 2022-23 NBA season that will begin in mid-October.
The majority of players are struggling with injuries at that time in the season. For what it’s worth, during Game 3 of the Finals, Steph Curry worsened a foot injury. He participated in Game 4 and produced one of his career’s most memorable performances, scoring a game-high 43 points to prevent the Warriors from going behind three games to one.
There’s a fair potential that the Warriors and Celtics might face each other in the Finals again in July as both teams’ rosters are mostly the same from the previous season. This would give Tatum an opportunity to make amends.