Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum’s biggest takeaway from playoff run

Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Boston Celtics rising star Jayson Tatum took this learning experience from this year’s playoff run.

The 2019-20 NBA season will be one to remember for Boston Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum.

Not only did he make his first NBA All-Star game in his third season in the NBA, he cemented his name at the top of the list of rising superstars of the future as he led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals averaging 25.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.

At just 22 years old, Tatum appeared in his second Eastern Conference Finals and despite coming up short against the Miami Heat, he took away from the experience a valuable lesson about how to be a leader while handling the pressure of being a superstar.

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"“If you want those expectations, if you want to be that guy that’s capable of doing those things you’ve got to go through some tough times, some ups and downs, some stuff I can learn from,” Tatum said following the Game 6 loss to the Heat, via  “I think I can learn a lot moving forward, from this season and this series overall.”"

The Boston Celtics deep run featured a rising star in Jayson Tatum

In all, the Miami series encompassed all of those ups and downs.  The team itself blow big leads in Game 1 and Game 2 to fall down 0-2, but bounced back in Game 3 with a win and then Game 5 in which a 20-6 run in the third quarter of that game was led by a 17-point outburst by Jayson Tatum who proved to be hard to stop once he got his game going.

Those were the ups as he has showcased during stretches all season long.  Before the league was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tatum had a stretch of 30-point games that put the league on notice.  And while he struggled a little once the NBA restarted in the Orlando bubble, the young Celtics star found that grove again.

He found that grove by being aggressive offensively and making an impact on the defensive end.  When the Boston Celtics won during this playoff run, Tatum was a big factor in those games.  He didn’t always score the most points, but he typically contributed with his rebounding, defense and playmaking ability.

With Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and eventually Gordon Hayward around him, there was no pressure for Jayson Tatum to do everything, obviously, but he still put the struggles of the team on his shoulder, like a true superstar does.

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Given his youth, his playoff resume is impressive.  He has proven he is not afraid of the big stage and he has learned how to lead through the team’s failure.

As we look forward, that leadership is an ingredient he will add to the mixture of his success as well as perhaps a contract extension that will solidify his superstar status as the man in Boston, which means the Celtics will continue to build a championship contender around Jayson Tatum.