Jayson Tatum says he played with fractured wrist vs. Warriors in NBA Finals

By his standards, Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum had a disappointing NBA Finals against the Warriors.

Tatum, the Celtics’ leading scorer during the 2021-22 regular season, struggled at times against the Warriors in the six-game series. The three-time NBA All-Star averaged 21.5 points during the Finals, second to Jaylen Brown’s 23.5.

More than two months after the Warriors won the NBA championship at TD Garden, Tatum revealed that he played through an injury for the entirety of the playoffs.

“It showed that I had a non-displaced fracture in my [left] wrist,” Tatum told Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks during a live interview Sunday.

“A non-displaced chip, so like I chipped a bone but it didn’t leave the surface, right? But it had shown that 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. So I guess I played with somewhat of a fracture for like two months.”

Tatum, who shot 45. 3 percent from the field during the 2021-22 regular season, saw that number fall to 36.7 percent during the six games against the Warriors. In the final game of the series, Tatum managed to score just 13 points on 6-of-18 shooting from the field.

Tatum admitted that he aggravated the injury during the playoffs, but received treatment in order to continue playing.

“And then in the playoffs, there was a play against Milwaukee in Game 3,” Tatum told Rooks. “I dunked it. Giannis [Antetokounmpo] chased me down and fouled me and I fell into the crowd. And that was the most painful it’s been since that day that I hurt it. And I end up getting a cortisone shot in my wrist that night and you can see it. I’ve lost color in my hand because it kills the fat cells and there’s not a lot of fat in my hand, so I’ve lost color right there.


“But after each game, I would have to wear a brace, to shootaround, and I would take it off before the cameras saw me. And then pregame, taking my nap and putting it back on, just to make sure it was stable.”

It’s unclear if Tatum had any sort of procedure on his wrist this offseason.

At that point in the season, most players are dealing with some sort of injury. For what it’s worth, Steph Curry aggravated a foot injury during Game 3 of the Finals. He played in Game 4 and authored one of the most iconic performances of his career, scoring a game-high 43 points to keep the Warriors from falling into a three-games-to-one hole. With the series even, Golden State went on to win the next two games to capture its fourth NBA title in eight seasons.

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Tatum, 24, is one of the best young players in the NBA and there’s no doubt that he will be healthy when the 2022-23 NBA season begins in mid-October.

With both the Warriors and Celtics bringing back rosters that are mostly the same from last year, there’s a good chance they could meet again in the Finals next July, giving Tatum a chance to redeem himself.