Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum growing up before our very eyes

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Once again, rookie Jayson Tatum propels the Boston Celtics to an astounding Game 3 win against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Remember when all of the media outlets doubted the Boston Celtics prior to entering the playoffs?

It’s amazing to think that even without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, Boston is still one game away from the Eastern Conference Finals. On Saturday evening, the C’s toughed out a 101-98 overtime win on the road against Philly.

Brad Stevens and company now have a 3-0 lead, and have dismantled the Sixers in every facet. One of the reasons for their total domination is once again, Jayson Tatum.

Too much Jayson Tatum

Brett Brown emphasized key match-ups in his postgame interview, but also stated that Boston has executed on everything he’s thrown out there. Tatum especially continues to blow by guys for easy layups, as he showed at the end of this contest.

In game one, J.J. Roddick struggled at keeping Tatum from using his vertical quickness for big finishes. It did not work, as Jayson amassed 11 free throws and went 8/16 from the field. In game two, JT scored 21 and went 7/14. Coach Brown tried Dario Saric and Ben Simmons, but Tatum was still able to elevate and capitalize on mid-range jumpers.

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Robert Covington even got a crack at the rookie, but Tatum still finished with 24 on 11/17 shooting in game three. Jayson was able to use his strong build to get to the rim more than a few times in the fourth quarter and overtime. He ended with a plus/minus of +18 in 41 minutes.

Tatum’s output in the playoffs has been anything but underwhelming. According to, the rookie’s points per game increased from 13.9 in the regular season to 18 in the postseason. This is only with four more minutes of playing time too (30 in the regular season to 34 now). Sure, he’s been forced to play in a much bigger role,, but that shouldn’t take away from his impressive composure.

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Game three was Tatum’s ultimate performance so far. When the buzzer sounded in overtime, the Duke graduate finished with a plus/minus rating of +24. Brown can talk about match-ups all he wants, but Tatum just can’t be contained.

In an article for USA Today, Al Horford praised Tatum for his versatility stating that “he’s starting to figure it out. He’s starting to understand what he needs to do and its great to see for our team.” When veterans like Al have that much trust in a first-year player, it’s no wonder the team continues to operate with this much success.

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Dylan Woods emphasizes how incredible it is to see guys like Terry Rozier and Tatum carry a squad that really has no business being here in the first place. With Boston one game away from a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, we will see how far those two can actually take them.