The Boston Celtics have now played five games without Jayson Tatum. After testing positive for COVID-19, Tatum needed at least two weeks of quarantine before returning to action. He last played against the Wizards on January 8, and he can finally return to action tomorrow.
After their game against the Cavaliers tonight, defensive juggernaut Marcus Smart talked about how the Celtics really need Tatum to return soon.
Smart said, “Tatum’s one of the best scorers and one of the best young players in the league. Not only that, he’s very important to the team and brings so much we need. Especially in times like this where we’ve kind of been in a slump. The scoring, energy, and effectiveness that he brings in the game is something we’re going to need. Having him back is definitely going to help bring our level up to the standards that we’re supposed to have.”
In the five games the Celtics have played without Tatum, they have won just twice. They beat the Magic in their first game without him, but then went on a three-game losing streak. They had a massive 30-point blowout loss against the Knicks, which was the most embarrassing loss for them. The other two losses came against conference rivals, the 76ers, who bested them twice in a row.
The brilliant form of Jaylen Brown will help Tatum ease back into the team. Brown has played like an All-Star all season, so Tatum won’t immediately have to take the reins. This elite scoring duo will be a huge threat to any defense in the league. They can also show up on the defensive end which makes them one of the best duos in the league.
With Kemba Walker also slowly finding his feet following his injury, the Celtics could once again return to the top in the East. Currently, the 76ers are bossing the other teams in the Conference, but the Celtics could now challenge them for that top spot.
The Celtics play the Bulls and the Spurs next, before facing eternal rivals, the Lakers, at the Staples Center. That game already promises to be a thriller, and Tatum and co will be keen to spoil the party for the home team.
Get notified about breaking news and watch highlights on the go; join the Arena on NBA Hoops