Celtics fans were excited to catch a glimpse of their star man, Jayson Tatum, in Monday night’s Olympic tune-up match against the Australians. Team USA came into this matchup looking to put their poor performance against Nigeria behind them.
Instead, they managed to take a further step back with another lackluster performance. Tatum had an off night, scoring just eight points on 4-for-12 shooting from the field including 0-6 from three-point range, while Team USA dropped to 0-2 in an exhibition as they lost 91-83 against Australia.
Tatum’s struggles also went beyond his inability to put the ball in the hoop. The Boston forward had two poor turnovers along with a few defensive miscommunications that proved costly for Team USA late in the fourth.
Tatum did have a few bright spots throughout the game that could be a good sign of things to come. He had a nice sequence in the second half where he scored late in the shot clock with a euro step to the basket followed by a sweet turnaround jumper. Tatum also finished the contest with four assists which is something Celtics fans want him to keep improving on.
Team USA’s second straight exhibition loss marks only the fourth time they have lost an exhibition since allowing pro players to play in 1992. Coach Popovic and his staff will need to make some serious changes in order to get team USA going both offensively and defensively.
Jayson Tatum and Team USA will face Argentina tomorrow at 8:00 pm ET on NBCSN.