Though his ankle didn't help, Tatum hasn't been his usual superstar self this month. In eight December games, the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for October/November is shooting 43.5 percent, including a terrible 30.5 percent on 8.1 3-point attempts per game.
Tatum, usually a net rating magician, had a little +3.3 in December. The Celtics' net rating rises to a team-best +12.2 in Tatum's 98 bench minutes this month
It's ridiculous that Boston can dominate non-Tatum minutes yet lose the month's biggest games in the In-Season Tournament quarterfinal in Indy and Tuesday's visit to Golden State
Given his ankle issues, Tatum's defeat Tuesday night isn't all on him. The Warriors' greatest player was outstanding when it counted, while Tatum and the Celtics lost their way.
Every Boston player will regret wasted chances. Al Horford had a poor turnover in overtime, Jaylen Brown smoked a late layup, and Derrick White missed a crucial shot on a great night. You may ignore it most nights.
It's Steph. This is the Warriors. Even though it wasn't the same screenplay as the 2022 NBA Finals, it brought up unpleasant memories.
A year ago, the Celtics were 21-5, but they struck a Golden State speed bump and lost four of their next five. The Celtics must regroup for three more challenging games on this trip, starting with the second night of a back-to-back against a rested Sacramento club on Wednesday.
Despite progress, there's more to accomplish. The Celtics must improve in crucial occasions. They are still learning how to work with a Golden State of mind in stressful conditions.