By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub
OK, so I admit it: the unusual interests me. And what happened to Jayson Tatum last night was, well, beyond unusual.
It was downright historic.
While the Celtics were defeating the upstart Dallas Mavericks for their eighth straight win last night, Tatum was having arguably the worst shooting night in Celtics history. Let me repeat that: Last night, TATUM HAD ARGUABLY THE WORST SHOOTING NIGHT IN CELTICS HISTORY. And if that sounds like an exaggeration, it isn’t.
I looked it up.
Look, these things can be so subjective and specialized now that everybody is the first to do something. For example, if you wanted to for search for players with at least 20 points, five blocks, five rebounds, five steals, five turnovers, five fouls and five 3-pointers, you could probably come up with a pretty select list. Of course, it doesn’t mean anything, but you get the idea.
Some nights, it's like trying to put a bowling ball in a thimble: pic.twitter.com/CC5Mmw6lPD
— Tony Massarotti (@TonyMassarotti) November 12, 2019
But last night? Last night is a little different.
According to basketball-reference.com, there have been only six occasions in Celtics history where a Celtics player took as many as 15 shots in a game and made no more than one. Before last night, the last to do it was Jason Terry, who went 1-for-15 back in 2012. Before that, Antoine Walker (2003) and Larry Bird (1980) were the last to have 1-for-15 nights. In 1964, Sam Jones went 1-for-17. In 1960, Frank Ramsey went 0-for-15.
But no one, NO ONE, has ever taken 18 or more in Celtics history and made only one. And if we’re being objective, the only shooting performance that could be arguably worse than Tatum’s 1-for-18 would be Ramsey’s 0-fer because he is the only player in Celtics history to take as many as 15 shots and go home with a box of donuts.
What does this mean for Tatum’s future? Zero. But if you’re at all interested in putting his game last night into some sort of perspective, well, you could argue there has never been a performance quite like by a member of the Celtics.