Jayson Tatum hopes summer focus on strength, ball security will pay off


In an interview with the Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach that closely resembles those grade school essays – “What I did this summer”, Jayson Tatum touched on his workouts with Joel Embiid and Kobe Bryant, his teammates and more.

While Tatum’s quote game needs a lot of work, he did say a few things that caught my attention:

Q.You said at the end of last season you were focused on adding strength. How is that going?

A. It’s a little tough right now to gain weight super-fast, but I’ve definitely been working out a lot and I’ve noticed I’ve gotten a lot stronger, so I think that’s most important.

Q. Is there something you’re hoping to add to your game?

A. Really just upping my game as a whole. I just want to be able to finish more, finish better around the rim, finish through contact. I found myself losing the ball quite a bit last season, especially early in the season.

Q.What do you have to do to play through that contact and keep that ball on those drives?

A. Obviously getting stronger is the key, and knowing how to use my body, knowing what to expect. I have a better idea. I did better in the playoffs than I did in the regular season. As time goes on you just have to feel it out and figure it out.

The frequency with which Tatum lost the ball on drives last season was alarming. I don’t have advanced analytics to support this claim, but if you watched him all season, you know the deal.

I’m thrilled to hear this was a focus of the off-season workouts. As teams pay more attention to his lethal 3-point shot and run him off the arc, Tatum should have more opportunity to drive to the rim. There’s nothing wrong with a few more trips to the line (Tatum’s FTA jumped from 3.2 in the regular season to 5.1 in the postseason).

There was a report he gained about 7 lbs during the season and one could hopefully assume he gained another 7 lbs this summer.

Giddy up.

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