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There were plenty of safety rules in place, and it made the environment different. There is usually a coterie of observers and helpers when Tatum is shooting jump shots. Maybe two coaches to rebound, another to offer instruction, and sometimes even a member of the medical staff to oversee it all. But in this case, there was just assistant coach Jay Larranaga, wearing a mask and gloves and wondering whether he still had the legs to chase down the errant shots all by himself. “I’m lucky Tatum doesn’t ever miss,” Larranaga said. “So I just stay under the hoop. He looks like he’s in midseason form right now.”
Despite that uncertainty, there did not ever appear to be a time when Tatum lost his focus, according to Larranaga. “It’s frustrating when you’re in the midst of a really great season and having the responsibility that he likes and has wanted to have on the team,” Larranaga said. “It’s frustrating to have the season interrupted. “But he’s a pretty amazing athlete and player that, regardless of circumstance, regardless of if he’s able to work out or takes a few days off, his consistency day-to-day is pretty extraordinary.”