Despite dropping 36 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals in the Boston Celtics' 115-103 Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, Jayson Tatum was still unable to dodge the wave of hate that came his way following their defeat.
Several critics and haters couldn't help but mock Tatum for not showing up when the Celtics needed him the most. The Boston superstar had an ugly first half, tallying 15 points on 3-of-11 shooting from the field. He was 1-of-6 from deep, which prevented the Beantown team from making it a competitive fight early on.
The Sixers led by as much 21 points in the contest, and it proved to be too little and too late when Tatum exploded for 16 points in the third quarter. It didn't help at all that Tatum failed to sustain his third-quarter run in the final frame.
Here are some reactions to Tatum's Game 5 display:
Jayson Tatum in the first half the last two games: pic.twitter.com/txdET80ZA1
— Bookmakers Review (@BMRReviews) May 10, 2023
Jayson Tatum when his team needs him the most pic.twitter.com/aix1xPNu4I
— Mink Flow (@currypistonn) May 10, 2023
Jayson Tatum in a must win:
11/27 FG 🔥
3-11 from 3-PT 🔥
— andrew leezus (@AndrewLeezus) May 10, 2023
Jayson Tatum when u need him most pic.twitter.com/SF3k5pPTtv
— Coach Dre 🇯🇲 (@Drescott94) May 10, 2023
For what it's worth, while Jayson Tatum did post big numbers, he actually had the worst plus-minus on the team and in the game with -26. That speaks volume on how less of an impact he had in showdown, which makes the frustrations of the fans warranted.
In the end, the Celtics cannot afford to have Jayson Tatum play as poorly and as non-impactful as he did in Game 5. Boston doesn't need spurts from him, but rather a consistent production that will keep them in the game instead of falling into a massive hole they couldn't get out of.
The Celtics still have a chance to tie the series in Game 6, but their hopes depends on what kind of Tatum will show up.