Jayson Tatum Isn't A Bum - He's Just Living The 3-Quarter Work Day Life Style

Dropping into the fray of the Jayson Tatum wars that seem to wage every May. A fierce online battle to settle once and for all whether Jayson Tatum is a superstar or a complete bum. Until next year. 

There is no middle ground. No compromise. And while resident Barstool Celtics Press Secretary Greenie has been hard at war defending his guy, I'd like to offer a more neutral perspectice. As an NBA casual with no team alliance (meaning, I'm a Bulls fan), I think the stats suggest Jayson Tatum is in fact really good - but just so happens to be a proponent of the 3-quarter work day. The basketball equivalent to the "Four Hour Work Week" which is a book I haven't read because that seems a bit longer than I work per week anyway. 

What am I talking about here?

I ran some stats to see how in the hell a guy who drops 36-points in a playoff win could be getting so much hate the day after. Of course, even an NBA casual like myself kinda knew the answer. Tatum just seems to have a tendency to disappear when needed the most. Like Gandolf the Gray. Fucker has so much power and just bails right when his gang needs him the most. His final point of the 4th quarter in Game 1 came with 9:44 left and he missed badly on a couple open looks in the waning moments before getting bailed out by Jaylen Brown. The optics were… not ideal. 

But considering how he came back to light it up in overtime, and the fact that he still put up 36 - it's easy to see the pro-Tatum side chalk this up to a bad stretch at a bad time. The problem is - as anyone knows - this wasn't an isolated incident. And the underlaying issue might be worse than you thought. The dude just seems to Irish goodbye in too many key moments.

The list below shows the NBA's worst shooting percentages in the 4th quarter when the game is within five points one way or another (min 50 attempts). There's Jayson at the top which means he's the worst of the worst at a wilting 30%. 

Not only is he the lowest in 4th quarter shooting in close games, but the drop in this figure from his overall percentage is also the lowest in the league (-16%). I went ahead and ran the numbers for the 2022-23 season as well to make sure this year was no fluke and found his 4th quarter close game field goal percentage was a slightly better 36% vs an overall 47%. So still pretty bad for NBA standards let alone his standards. You want 2021-22? Fine, I'll tell you 2021-22. 36% vs 45% overall. Same idea. Pretty damn consistently inconsistent. 

I don't see any other explanation here. The dude can clearly ball. He just wants to treat quarter #4 like 2pm on a Tuesday in Austin.

Leaving non-Celtics fans like myself and others with the only conclusion possible left to draw.


So why then was he able to deliver in overtime if he's checked out in the 4th quarter? Hand up, that might be a slight flaw in my theory. But perhaps he's willing to go hard because he thinks he gets time and a half on his points when working into overtime. I don't know. But this is something that will be fun to monitor. Who knows? Maybe he comes out tonight and drops a hammer in the 4th and puts this conversation to bed once and for all. 

Until next year.