Jayson Tatum was pretty dreadful for the Boston Celtics in the team’s first NBA seeding game in Orlando on Friday. The star wing went just 2-for-18 for five points in 32 minutes, and the C’s fell to the Milwaukee Bucks 119-112.
Today was a marked upgrade for the 22-year old former Duke star. He led the team to an exciting 128-124 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, scoring 34 points on 11-of-22 shooting from the field. He knocked down 5-of-8 threes and added eight assists and four rebounds in the effort.
NBA fans were quick to diagnose what went differently for Tatum. Back in late June, he unveiled a new haircut, for which the reviews were…um…mixed.
There were plenty of rough tweets about his hair after the five-point effort. Today, Tatum showed up at the arena with a new haircut. If you don’t think people directly attributed to the impressive game to the change in hairstyle, you don’t know NBA Twitter.
Tatum after receiving criticism about his hair pic.twitter.com/LoGYrVBEfC
— ☘️*Depressed Celtics Fan*☘️(43-22) (@KingT843) August 2, 2020
The Celtics opened up a huge lead on the Blazers in the first half. Damian Lillard and company roared back in the second half and had things tied up at 116 with under three minutes left.
The forward trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward was impressive down the stretch to ice the game for the Celtics.
JAYSON TATUM’S BACK. ITS THE HAIR pic.twitter.com/PynkLRvfLs
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) August 2, 2020
We bullied Tatum into cutting his hair lmao https://t.co/DfoUN5Hmrl
— Sam ☘️🐐 (@S_Scott019) August 2, 2020
Tatum says it’s the hair 😂 pic.twitter.com/BcPHUrMmKS
— Guy Boston Sports (@GuyBostonSports) August 2, 2020
Curly hair Buzz cut
Jayson Tatum Jayson Tatum pic.twitter.com/CLWX5iladO
— 𝙏𝙤𝙘𝙝🎬 (@vlonetoch) August 2, 2020
Tatum's hair was the problem all along. Everything is good now.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) August 2, 2020
At 44-22, the Boston Celtics are in third in the Eastern Conference, with six games to play before the playoff seedings are locked. The Milwaukee Bucks are out of reach, but the Toronto Raptors are 3.5 games up for the No. 2 seed, and could conceivably be caught. The Miami Heat are two games behind Boston for fourth.
The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat play at 6:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday evening on TNT.