In early January, Jayson Tatum entered quarantine with a positive COVID test and missed the Celtics’ subsequent five games.
Boston Celtics All-NBA star Jayson Tatum is expected to enter quarantine and miss 10-to-14 days due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 9, 2021
The Celtics went on to go 2-3 on that five-game stretch and immediately got back to winning ways once their All-Star wing rejoined the team on January 25th against the Chicago Bulls.
Despite the Celtics facing consistency issues, Tatum has continued to post lofty numbers and recently broke his career-high for assists in a game. Over the eleven games since Tatum’s return, he has averaged 36 minutes per game, notching 24.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists.
Sure, Tatum’s efficiency has been slightly below the level we’ve become accustomed to, but not enough to raise eyebrows. For reference, the St. Louis native has been shooting 42.7% from the field and 36.9% from deep since returning from quarantine.
Yet, following on from his poor performance against the Washington Wizards on Sunday, February 14th, Tatum opened up on the effects the virus has had on his overall fitness.
"It's gotten better since the first game I played, but I'm still dealing with it from time to time." https://t.co/s2SJRVyWXl— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) February 16, 2021
Brad Stevens tends to sit Tatum early in games so that he can operate with the bench unit and provide a go-to scoring threat. By sitting Tatum early as part of the team’s offensive scheme, Tatum’s stamina has not been a topic of discussion throughout the Celtics’ difficult west coast trip or since their unstable return to east coast play.
Thankfully, Tatum has stated that the virus’ effects “have gotten better,” but it remains to be seen how long it will take for the 22-year-old to begin playing free from any reoccurring impacts.
The Celtics are in action again tonight against the Denver Nuggets. Tatum will look to help his team get back in the win column before facing off against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday and then again on Friday.