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Analyzing Jayson Tatum's dominant start to the NBA season


Shortly after the Boston Celtics lost to the Golden StateWarriors in last year’s NBA Finals, Jayson Tatum received a textfrom his trainer Drew Hanlen.

“The first text message I sent to him was, ‘Hey, you're gonna beback. And you're gonna be better because of this,’” Hanlen recalledto Basketball News.

Hanlen knew that the Finals loss would light a fire under Tatum.Over the offseason, Hanlen predicted that Tatum was about to make abig leap and become a “monster.” He saw the work that Tatum wasputting in and how much untapped potential he still has.

"I mean, Jayson went on an unbelievable run. He's 24 years oldand he's been to three Eastern Conference Finals and one NBAFinals. He's a two-time All-NBA [selection], a three-time All-Starand a two-time All-Star starter,” Hanlen said last summer. “Andhe's got so much room to grow.”

And for the first time in several years, Tatum had a fulloffseason to work on his game.

“When we look at the last couple years, he hasn't really hadoffseasons as much,” Hanlen told me in July. “The one year, they goin the Bubble and they go all the way to the Eastern ConferenceFinals; we had like two weeks that offseason and then he goes andplays and he starts off really slow. Then, [the next summer], hegoes to play with USA Basketball and wins a gold medal; we have acouple-week offseason and he starts really slow. This year, wefinally had a full offseason so that he can start the season stronginstead of kind of working his way in.”

When asked what things Tatum worked on over the summer, Hanlenmentioned driving through contact, playing through fouls andfinishing at the rim.

He also wanted Tatum to be more consistent with his pull-upjumper and three-point shot, particularly early in the season(rather than struggling out of the gate and improving as the seasonprogressed, as he did in recent years).

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