The Boston Celtics will be without Jayson Tatum for personal reasons against the Orlando Magic on December 18th. as reported by ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski. Tatum’s absence comes hot on the heels of Boston’s shocking 117-109 loss to the Magic on Friday, Dec. 16, in which Boston shot just 23.9% from the perimeter.
It will be the second game Tatum has missed this season since Boston’s win over the Washington Wizards on Nov. 27; a game he usually enjoys because of the opportunity to play against close friend Bradley Beal. As such, the Celtics will now look to avenge their latest loss without the help of their budding superstar, who has performed at an MVP level through the first 30 games of the season.
Tatum, 24, is currently averaging 30.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game and is shooting a career-best 55.7% from two-point range on 11.9 attempts per game this season. After spending an entire offseason to focus on developing his skills, Tatum has become a real threat on the rim and is playing with a new aggressiveness both on and off the ball.
Boston currently sits atop the Eastern Conference standings, one game ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks and three in front of the impressive Cleveland Cavaliers. As such, the Celtics will likely be firing on all cylinders on Sunday as they look to keep Milwaukee at arm’s length heading into their inevitable showdown on Christmas Day.
After Sunday’s game against the Magic, Boston will have a short break before taking on the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, Dec. 21, where Tatum will hopefully return to the starting lineup and help Boston continue their quest for Eastern Conference dominance and, ideally, find a place return to the NBA Finals.