Duke basketball: Jayson Tatum draws criticism after disappointing Finals

Duke basketball forward Jayson Tatum (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Duke basketball forward Jayson Tatum (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

It was a disappointing NBA Finals debut for Duke basketball star Jayson Tatum. 

The lights were apparently too bright for Duke basketball superstar Jayson Tatum during his first career appearance in the NBA Finals.

Tatum, who carried the Boston Celtics’ turnaround through the regular season and into the NBA Playoffs, fell short of a championship against the dynasty of the Golden State Warriors and its stifling defense.

Jayson Tatum’s numbers were not that bad, according to the eye test, but it was his constant struggles and disappearance in the fourth quarter throughout the series that loomed large in the outcome of each game.

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The two-time All-Star had a total of 18 points in the fourth quarter while shooting 6-of-25 from the field in the final 12 minutes of each game.

Tatum also posted 23 turnovers in the six games and his 13-point shooting on 6-of-18 shooting in an elimination game was painful to watch as he looked overwhelmed of the moment.

However, the former Blue Devil did suffer a shoulder injury in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat that could have affected him in the NBA Finals as it was clear that Tatum, who was arguing for foul calls each time he drove to the basket, was not right.

Local and national media criticize Duke basketball star’s instincts

In the world of ranking players by tiers and creating legacy moments, Jayson Tatum clearly waisted a prime opportunity to officially announce himself as a Top-10 player in the league.

The New York Times headlined one of its NBA Finals articles, Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum Could Have Had His Moment.

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ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith criticized Tatum’s “killer instinct” or his “Mamba Mentality” as the 24-year old has been very open about his relationship with Kobe Bryant coming into the NBA and how he idolized him growing up in St. Louis.

It will be a long summer for Jayson Tatum and he gets the chance to reflect on his fifth NBA season but the young star in the NBA will surely use this disappointing season as motivation to finally hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

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