The Boston Celtics are going to have to figure out a way to get their star forward Jayson Tatum's shooting touch back again.
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Tatum continued a worrying trend of poor shooting against the Miami Heat on Thursday night, missing his first eight shots before finishing 3-of-13 for 10 points. All of his buckets came in the fourth quarter.
Tatum had four straight games of 20 plus points to start the season, but over his past five games has made just 34 of his 104 field goal attempts. He's averaging 22.7 points on the season so far, but is shooting just 37.3 percent from the field, and 27.1 percent from long-range.
Both figures will be career-low marks if not improved during the season. During the week Celtics head coach Ime Udoka spoke about wanting to get his star some easy looks at the basket to get his rhythm going.
"One way is always to get him easy baskets," Udoka said of remedies for Tatum .
"But at times the post-ups might not be the easiest thing, taking the tough contested fadeaway shot, that's not always a great shot. But also get to the free-throw line. But myself and my staff feel he's had great looks."
TATUM IS COOKING IN THE 4TH👏- Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) November 5, 2021
All of Jayson Tatum's points have come in the 4th and this 3 is a beauty 👌 pic.twitter.com/xNbKghcjIo
What is compounding Tatum's shooting woes is the lack of free-throw attempts that Udoka feels will help get Tatum's confidence back. Tatum, a career 83 percent free-throw shooter, is averaging just 5.2 attempts per game, and making just 75 percent of them when he's there.
Tatum took to Instagram post-game on Thursday to celebrate the team's strong win over Miami, and to let fans know he's not concerned with his shooting slump.
Jayson Tatum on IG:- Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) November 5, 2021
"Good team win! Head up 0 embrace the struggle it's a part of it" pic.twitter.com/FqHn6nMy6b
With Jaylen Brown's playing status for the team's next game against Orlando still to be determined, Tatum may not have the luxury of taking his time to snap out his funk. The Celtics will need him back playing like he did earlier this season against Charlotte where he finished with 41 points.
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