Tatum averages 21.5 points per game with 36.2 percent from the field, with 23 spins during the previous 4-2 loss series Golden Empire Warriors.
The diminutive striker’s scoring performance falls short of his regular season average of 26.9 points per game, reaching a rate of 45.3%.
Tatum was unable to capture the Warriors’ momentum in the NBA finals, leading to some criticism despite leading the Celtics to post-season series wins over the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat.
“This guy gave us everything he had,” Stevens told reporters Tuesday. “When you look at the minutes, when you look at the games played… I’ve said this many times: He’s a superstar who doesn’t want to sit. He wants to play, he wants to play all the time.
“I think in the Finals he will be the first to say he wants to have those moments again, but I think there are other contributing factors to the way he plays.”
Stevens, who coached Boston from 2013 to 2021, had a simple message for Tatum when he signed for the 2021-22 season.
“I just told him to go on vacation,” Stevens said. “Go get some rest.”
The Celtics boss added that 24-year-old Tatum’s performance was remarkable in the Eastern Conference semifinals, when he scored 46 points in game 6 against the defending champion Bucks in the face of a disqualification. type.
“When you start to look at it more objectively and historically, what Jayson and Jaylen (Brown) did in the knockout stages, historically at their age, is the atmosphere of fun,” he said. Stevens said.
“I think we are very aware of the fact that while Jayson has admittedly not played his best streak, there is no chance that we would be there without him and without all of that. all of his amazing plays along the way.
“I think back to it all the time… Game 6 in Milwaukee was one of the best I’ve ever seen an individual play in his era, certainly live and against the Celtics. Without that performance, we would have had this discussion a month and a half ago.”