Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum showing what he can do

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 20: Jayson Tatum
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 20: Jayson Tatum /

Boston Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum has shown flashes of brilliance this season.  Lately, he’s been putting the NBA on notice.

Jayson Tatum was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He had an impressive start to the season, then started to hit some bumps. However, the Celtics have had to rely on Tatum as of late, and he’s stepped up.

I have to say, seeing Jayson Tatum make some of those moves Tuesday night filled me with pride. That’s OUR rookie, he’s so…damn good. Honestly, I like the fact that Tatum has been forced to step up.  Of course the injuries stink, but they’ve forced Tatum to become the number one option for this team. This experience can only help, and it’s exciting to think about his future.

Tuesday night, Tatum had 23 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists.  His confidence has to be high right now, and going into the playoffs it’s exactly what the Celtics are going to need.  No Kyrie Irving, no Jaylen Brown, and no Marcus Smart means everything falls on the rookie’s shoulders.

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I can’t stress how important coaching is.

Yes, Tatum would be a 20 point scorer on any other team if he was the number one option.  However, only under Brad Stevens can Tatum really learn the NBA game.  Even when he doesn’t score much, Tatum rebounds the basketball at a high rate.  He’s averaging five rebounds per game this season, but the last three games he’s had eight, five then eleven.

That play at the end of the Oklahoma City game, when he drove the ball, then kicked it out to Marcus Morris? How many rookies can do that? Hopefully, Tatum is completely done with the ‘rookie wall’ and can move forward for good.

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If the Celtics can get somewhat healthy by the playoffs, and Tatum plays at this high level, then this team can still make some noise.