We already know Jayson Tatum was not at 100 percent during the Celtics’ 2022 postseason run.
But it was more than the shoulder that limited Tatum during the C’s unsuccessful bid for their first championship since 2008, as Tatum also dealt with a fracture in his wrist, Boston’s superstar revealed in an interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks.
“I had a non-displaced in his wrist. It was small, but it was still like a non-displaced chip,” Tatum said. “So like, I chipped a bone but it didn’t leave the surface, right? But it had shown that the bone had grew over it, so it healed, but I was still in pain because I kept getting hit or falling on it.”
A second-round showing with the Bucks brought the injury back to the forefront for Tatum, too, with a body-on-body collision at the rim with Giannis Antekounmpo that left Tatum reeling.
“So I played with like somewhat of a fracture for like two months. Then in the playoffs, there was a play against Milwaukee in Game 3. I dunked it, Giannis chased me down and fouled me and I fell into the crowd and that was the most painful it had been since that day that I hurt it.”
Tatum threw it down on Giannis despite the foul 😳 pic.twitter.com/bPATVuuZQu— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 7, 2022
As the replay can confirm, that’s a lot of wrist banging there.
Following that re-aggravation, Tatum received a cortisone shot in his wrist and dealt with some discoloration around his wrist as a result of the shot. He also wore a brace on his wrist during shootaround and his pregame naps, but made sure to take it off before it could be spotted by any media or cameramen.
The cortisone shot had an immediate impact for Tatum, as the 24-year-old averaged 33.3 points per game and shot 47.5 percent from the field over the final four games of the second-round duel with Milwaukee.
But once the shoulder stinger was introduced in the middle of the Green’s third-round series with the Heat, Tatum’s shooting struggles became more apparent as the grind of his workload intensified, and Tatum averaged 23.8 points and four turnovers per game over the final 10 games of the 2022 postseason.
Now healthy from his postseason issues, the page has turned to a 2022-23 season of high hopes for the reloaded Celtics, with many considering them a favorite in the Eastern Conference.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.