Jayson Tatum is taking his game to the next level this postseason. He’s become the Celtics’ top scoring option at 20 years old, averaging 18 points per game and displaying a smooth jump shot from all areas of the floor.
But Kobe Bryant has identified one area where Tatum can get even better.
Bryant broke down Tatum’s game this week on “Detail,” which is available on ESPN+. While Bryant lauded Tatum’s abilities to create his own shot and score in the post, the Lakers legend offered some constructive criticism to the upstart rookie. Mainly, Bryant focused on how Tatum can better utilize off-ball screens and take advantage of catch-and-shoot opportunities.
In the free trailer available on ESPN.com, Bryant analyzes one particular play in Game 2 against the Cavaliers where Tatum catches a pass from Terry Rozier near the three-point line. Tatum dribbles the ball and moves towards the center, instead of instantly setting himself up to shoot.
Bryant explains that Tatum, who’s running an off-ball screen near the top of the key, can curl off and slide into an open pocket on the left side of the court. The only defender in Tatum’s way is Larry Nance Jr., who’s playing in the paint and protecting against penetration. In Bryant’s eyes, that’s a prime catch-and-shoot opportunity.
At the end of the breakdown, Bryant advises Tatum to watch footage of ex-Pistons guard Richard Hamilton if he wants somebody to learn from.
“I’d probably look at Richard Hamilton when he was with the Detroit Pistons,” Bryant said. “He got himself into these pocket areas where he could catch-and-shoot. Simplifying the game by using the screen off the ball to put myself in pockets to catch-and-shoot, if I could figure out how to do that with my game, it will take my game to another level. It will make us a better team. The sky is the limit.”
The exercise was probably a thrill for Tatum to watch, given he responded to the announcement of Bryant’s upcoming breakdown with the word “WOW” and the hallelujah emoji.
Full article @ Kobe Bryant gives Jayson Tatum advice on how to improve
Source: GreenStreet Blog