The Boston Celtics came the closest they had been to a championship in 2022 since their run to the Finals in 2010 ended with the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers eliminating them in the Finals. In 2022, the team again reached the Finals but fell short to the veteran Golden State Warriors.
Jayson Tatum was the on-court leader of the Celtics but often had nights in the playoffs where he dragged the team down just as much as he helped them. In those games, Jaylen Brown or other players like Al Horford were crucial to the Celtics qualifying into the later rounds.
There was a reason for Tatum's struggles, as he revealed to Taylor Rooks on Bleacher Report that he was injured during the Finals and had suffered a non-displacement fracture in his wrist.
"I had a non-displaced fracture in my wrist. It was small, but still. A non-displaced chip, so I chipped the bone but it didn't leave the surface. It had shown the bone had grown over it so it had healed but I was still in pain because I kept getting hit or falling on it. I played with somewhat of a fracture for 2 months. In the playoffs, there was a play against Milwaukee in Game 3 where I dunked it and Giannis was chasing me down and fouled me. I fell into the crowd and that's the most painful it had been since the day I hurt it. I ended up getting a Cortisone shot that night... After each game, I would have to wear a brace to shoot around and I would take it off before the cameras saw.
Players often don't reveal injury information in the playoffs if it is something nobody else has seen for various reasons. One of the main ones is that many fans criticize them for setting up excuses if a loss eventually comes. It has happened before, and many are already saying Tatum is making excuses for the occasional inconsistent performances we saw in the postseason.
Ideally, Tatum will recover in the offseason and come into the 2022-23 season, wanting to build off his All-NBA First Team appearance and debut trip to the NBA Finals.