How the hiatus affects all 30 NBA teams

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Boston Celtics: Halting Tatum’s midseason leap

Midseason leaps like the one Jayson Tatum was in the process of making are exceedingly rare, and even though the Boston Celtics were mired in a troublesome 2-4 stretch before the league went on hiatus, the timing of this basketball layover couldn’t be worse for their budding star.

Tatum was already having an All-Star-caliber season before the All-Star reserves were announced on Jan. 30, but from that point onward, he went on an absolute tear to cement his transition to superstar status:

  • Before February: 43 GP, 21.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.8 APG, .436/.363/.841 shooting
  • February onward: 16 GP, 29.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 3.3 APG, .476/.468/.752 shooting

Granted, 16 games is a much smaller sample compared to the 43 that came before that impressive stretch, but it seemed like every night Tatum was doing something spectacular. Whether it was matching his career high with 41 points in a personal duel with LeBron James, hitting step-back 3s with ease or just improving his shot selection overall, Tatum was in the midst of the most promising regular season stretch of his career.

With Marcus Smart testing positive for the coronavirus, it’s good the Celtics will have plenty of time to self-isolate. It’s just unfortunate this break could slow down what was shaping up to be a meteoric rise for Tatum.