Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics had themselves an NBA Finals performance to forget in Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors.
While JT had a much better showing on the box score from a scoring standpoint, piling on 28 points and six threes after just 12 points in Game 1, he also posted a brutal plus/minus of -36 for the game, the most by far. The next Celtics player to him was Al Horford who finished with a -15.
Jayson Tatum plus/minus of -36? Make sure he lets Kobe know. pic.twitter.com/O9Yo3Du3dY
— Curry (@Curry_Franklin1) June 6, 2022
That -36 isn’t just the worst for the game, but rather the worst for Jayson Tatum’s entire career. The Celtics star has never posted a plus/minus that bad in all five of his NBA seasons thus far, including five different playoff runs.
Not only was it the worst of his career, but it was also the worst single-game plus/minus ever in an NBA Finals game. His -36 just inched past 2020 Tyler Herro and his own idol in 2008 Kobe Bryant.
Worst plus/minus in a NBA postseason game:
-45 (tie): Klay Thompson (GSW vs MEM, 2022) & Andre Drummond (DET vs MIL, 2014)
Worst plus/minus in a NBA Finals game:
-35 (tie): Kobe Bryant (LAL vs BOS, 2008) & Tyler Herro (MIA vs LAL, 2020)
-36: Jayson Tatum, BOS
— Dan Kelley (@DanKelley66) June 6, 2022
Plus-minus is obviously a flawed stat especially considering that both Jayson Tatum and Kobe Bryant were clearly the two best players on their respective Finals teams. There are too many variables to measure value with a single stat like that.
Considering the four points total that Marcus Smart and Al Horford had between them, it’s probably safe to say Tatum had a larger positive impact than some of his Celtics teammates.
But whether or not you believe that Game 2 lowlight matters, it’s clear that Jayson Tatum needs to be even better for the Celtics to pull off the NBA Finals victory.