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Jayson Tatum, Celtics still getting wrecked by COVID-19

Celtics,Celtics, Jayson Tatum, COVID-19

It has been over two months since Boston Celtics All-Star swingman Jayson Tatum contracted COVID-19. He is still feeling the effects.

Tom Haberstroh of True Hoop took a closer look at the impact the virus has had on the league. Tatum readily admits he is a changed man physically after having gotten the virus in January:

“I don’t feel the same that I did before I had it,” Tatum told Haberstroh.

The Celtics were one of the teams that struggled to limit the spread when the virus and others hit Tatum. Perhaps the January COVID interruption explains the team’s struggles, as well.

Boston was 7-3 and riding a four-game winning streak when much of the team had to enter health and safety protocols following a win over the Washington Wizards on Jan. 8.

The Celtics came back from a weeklong hiatus to win their next game against the Orlando Magic and improve to 8-3 on the season. Since then, however, Boston is just 12-17. It has been a struggle, including for players like Tatum.

Sure, the Celtics could use more frontcourt scoring and creativity. The Marcus Smart injury hardly helped matters, nor did Kemba Walker’s shooting struggles.

But Tatum and Jaylen Brown just haven’t been as good. Tatum’s true shooting percentage fell to .516 in February. His turnover rate skied, and he had a -6 net rating. Brown’s true shooting and scoring have both dipped, and his net rating has been even uglier than Tatum’s in the last couple months.

The Celtics entered the season as one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference. However, the campaign has turned into a grind, in part because of COVID-19.