Jayson Tatum 2021-22: Leap Year

TripleOT

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Jokes about his age aside, it's remarkable that despite entering year 6, Tatum is still the 3rd youngest player on the roster (and one of the 2 younger than him is Davison, who will spend plenty of time not with the team).
The Jays are the first top three picks who started their careers with a good playoff team in a long time (Darko was the last one, and he was a human victory cigar). Watching their games develop in important NBA minutes, as opposed to watching a top draft pick develop on a 25 win team, has been a great experience.

Now it’s time for them to lead the Celtics to championships
 

chilidawg

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The Jays are the first top three picks who started their careers with a good playoff team in a long time (Darko was the last one, and he was a human victory cigar). Watching their games develop in important NBA minutes, as opposed to watching a top draft pick develop on a 25 win team, has been a great experience.

Now it’s time for them to lead the Celtics to championships
Wiseman would fit that too.
 

Jimbodandy

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Jimbodandy

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I know it’s partially age/injury related, but it’s still a bit startling (in a fantastic way) to see a legitimate ranking list with Tatum sitting right above Lebron and Kawhi.
What would you consider legitimate?

Edit: I realize that might sound snarky...what I mean is that it will be interesting to see how these lists flush out in the next year, because the writers and analytics services will likely be ahead of the hoop twitterverse/IG space. There will absolutely be people there pushing back on rankings like this. So, are there more authoritative sources than others that might leave a mark? BR is a good start.
 

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radsoxfan

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What would you consider legitimate?

Edit: I realize that might sound snarky...what I mean is that it will be interesting to see how these lists flush out in the next year, because the writers and analytics services will likely be ahead of the hoop twitterverse/IG space. There will absolutely be people there pushing back on rankings like this. So, are there more authoritative sources than others that might leave a mark? BR is a good start.
I just mean it's not some random dude on twitter.

Not trying to say this is the perfect list, but Tatum is right in the mix with those guys in general on many of the lists. It's not surprising or anything, just saying its nice to see.
 

Jimbodandy

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I just mean it's not some random dude on twitter.

Not trying to say this is the perfect list, but Tatum is right in the mix with those guys in general on many of the lists. It's not surprising or anything, just saying its nice to see.
Agreed. Good to see.

Will be interesting to see how these lists shake out through the first half of the year too. Kawhi and Lebron could move up. I'd bet money that Embiid will too. I think that Tatum is here to stay though.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Is there anyone more overrated than Kawhi right now?

He's played about 25% of his games over the last 5 years. In those games he looks like a very good player, but clearly not the physical specimen he was prior to all of his injuries. Especially after leaving Toronto.

This isn't to throw shade at Kawhi. More to highlight that he was such an unbelievable talent, and people may be underestimating the chance his career turns into a slightlu better version of McGrady/Hill.
 

Euclis20

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Is there anyone more overrated than Kawhi right now?

He's played about 25% of his games over the last 5 years. In those games he looks like a very good player, but clearly not the physical specimen he was prior to all of his injuries. Especially after leaving Toronto.

This isn't to throw shade at Kawhi. More to highlight that he was such an unbelievable talent, and people may be underestimating the chance his career turns into a slightlu better version of McGrady/Hill.
That's not a bad thing. If Kawhi ends up with the exact same career as those two, plus winning finals MVP for two different teams (Hill/McGrady famously never even made it to the finals, never mind winning multiple titles/MVPs). If either of them had the playoff resume that Kawhi does, I imagine they'd have made the top 75 team as well.
 

lovegtm

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That's not a bad thing. If Kawhi ends up with the exact same career as those two, plus winning finals MVP for two different teams (Hill/McGrady famously never even made it to the finals, never mind winning multiple titles/MVPs). If either of them had the playoff resume that Kawhi does, I imagine they'd have made the top 75 team as well.
He's had a great career, no doubt. I think op was referring to where he should be ranked right now, and I agree.
 

Kliq

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Embiid to me, shouldn't be above Tatum. Maybe he can win a big playoff series for once in his career before he is ahead of Tatum (or Curry).
 

Jimbodandy

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Ja Morant. The Grizzlies were arguably a better team in the games he didn't play.
Luca Doncic. I mean, I get it, he plays a fun game but he only plays at a high level on one side of the court. He’s nowhere near as good as these rankings suggest..,
Agreed on both.

Both might be more valuable as commodities because upside and butts in the seats, but both are getting their bad defense disregarded entirely in these rankings. Ja is almost a bottom-10 defender in the league.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I think it's more a slightly different role defensively.
Sure, but his role on defense last year was crucial. Changing his role is a robbing Peter to pay Paul type of thing. It might make sense but even if he could do it every bit as well as Rob, the Celtics would still be worse on net.
 

benhogan

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Tatum is probably one of the 5 best perimeter defenders in the NBA, you don't turn him into a roaming rim protector

you're better off sticking another BIG in there and let Al Horford roam
 

lovegtm

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Tatum is probably one of the 5 best perimeter defenders in the NBA, you don't turn him into a roaming rim protector

you're better off sticking another BIG in there and let Al Horford roam
The other big options are very low quality, relative to the top 9 guys. I suppose Grant could play big with Al roaming some.

The Cs have good perimeter defenders outside of Tatum: White, Jaylen, Brogdon, Grant (bigger wings). Tatum is their smartest weakside defender by far.

I could see it making sense with Tatum not purely "roaming", but just generally being responsible for blowing up the weakside, helping in the paint, and making good decisions.

I need to re-watch the last Toronto game, but it seemed like having him in that role would have helped when Toronto was iso'ing DWhite over and over again to back him into the paint.
 

chilidawg

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The other big options are very low quality, relative to the top 9 guys. I suppose Grant could play big with Al roaming some.

The Cs have good perimeter defenders outside of Tatum: White, Jaylen, Brogdon, Grant (bigger wings). Tatum is their smartest weakside defender by far.

I could see it making sense with Tatum not purely "roaming", but just generally being responsible for blowing up the weakside, helping in the paint, and making good decisions.

I need to re-watch the last Toronto game, but it seemed like having him in that role would have helped when Toronto was iso'ing DWhite over and over again to back him into the paint.
If they're playing their best 5 (sans Rob), Tatum is going to have to be more of a rim protector, whether he fits the roaming role or not.

Good point about how Toronto (Anunoby in particular) attacked White. C's played it straight up without helping and got roasted. I'm sure they'll adjust regular season.
 

benhogan

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Jaylen Brown in the free safety role!

(Only 1/2 serious)
That's not a bad idea. I thought Jaylen's defense steadily improved last season so wouldn't want to fcuk with his role.

Tatum flummoxes the best perimeter creators in the NBA. Removing him from that role while having him guard the opponent's worst 3pt shooter seems sub-optimal. Then again the first half of the season is a good time to experiment with different line-ups.
Joe should have the rope with White/others in the starting line-up.

Looking forward to watching all the adjustments.
 

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Tatum played the roamer a ton in 19-20, and was excellent at it. But it’s also the defensive role the wears you down the most, especially compared to a heavy switching system. In spurts yeah, but I’d much rather him not expend himself that much on the defensive end.

I think White could do a decent job at it TBH, though unorthodox. He doesn’t have a huge wingspan, but he’s easily the best guard in the league when it comes to defending the rim. Though with him it would be less about rim protection, and more about rim prevention. This team was the best in the league last year when it came to preventing shots at the rim, and that was Mazzulla’s scheme, from everything we’ve heard.
 

chilidawg

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Tatum played the roamer a ton in 19-20, and was excellent at it. But it’s also the defensive role the wears you down the most, especially compared to a heavy switching system. In spurts yeah, but I’d much rather him not expend himself that much on the defensive end.

I think White could do a decent job at it TBH, though unorthodox. He doesn’t have a huge wingspan, but he’s easily the best guard in the league when it comes to defending the rim. Though with him it would be less about rim protection, and more about rim prevention. This team was the best in the league last year when it came to preventing shots at the rim, and that was Mazzulla’s scheme, from everything we’ve heard.
Watching White get abused by Anunoby makes me think he's not that guy. Kabengele is probably the best fit from an athletic standpoint, but I'm not sure he's got the system understanding to do the job.
 

chilidawg

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Great look at Tatum's off season.

" Tatum’s benchmarks used to be points per game, shooting percentages, and All-NBA nods. But when he was in the gym this summer, when he’s on the court back in Boston, he’s been clear he measures his success on one metric now.

“Not one time did he mention anything else this summer besides, ‘I gotta win a championship,’” said Hanlen. “That’s all that matters. That’s why you evolve. That’s why you add things to your game, so you can win.”

https://theathletic.com/3715392/2022/10/21/jayson-tatum-kevin-durant-workout/
 

Eddie Jurak

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To the extent we can read anything into the first game, I think Tatum is driving with more power and showing etter shot selection in the midrange game. None of the closely guarded fallaways that he can always take but that he doesn't shoot that well on. None of the drives where he drives padt the hoop instead of to it... or is seeking a foul call. He played in 76 games last year and had at least 9 FTs in just 13 of them (17%) and he started off the year with a 9 FT game. If he plays more aggressively on drives he is more likely to get the calls.
 

tbb345

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Cool thread

That’s a great thread.

I think he’s taking another leap this year. It’s really amazing that he has really stripped away almost all of his bad, Kobe-esque tendencies (pounding the ball, contested fadeaways). Hes really a joy to watch now
 

Jimbodandy

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To the extent we can read anything into the first game, I think Tatum is driving with more power and showing etter shot selection in the midrange game. None of the closely guarded fallaways that he can always take but that he doesn't shoot that well on. None of the drives where he drives padt the hoop instead of to it... or is seeking a foul call. He played in 76 games last year and had at least 9 FTs in just 13 of them (17%) and he started off the year with a 9 FT game. If he plays more aggressively on drives he is more likely to get the calls.
Both he and Jaylen were going to the rim like an angry Giannis in the preseason. It's good to see.
 

Jimbodandy

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First defensive test going up against Butler and Adebayo tonight. Excited to see how it goes.
Butler is a bigtime hardo, but he might be the most underrated player in the league. By a lot of metrics he's a "knocking on the door of top-10" player, but nobody talks of him that way. He's great a bothering wings defensively, efficient on offense, and does all of the little things. You're right--it's a good test, not just of 22-23 Tatum the baller but also of his mindset. He might not be getting the friendly whistles tonight and can't freak.

Of course Butler can't cover everyone, and they have some black holes too. Should be interesting.
 

Euclis20

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Butler is a bigtime hardo, but he might be the most underrated player in the league. By a lot of metrics he's a "knocking on the door of top-10" player, but nobody talks of him that way. He's great a bothering wings defensively, efficient on offense, and does all of the little things. You're right--it's a good test, not just of 22-23 Tatum the baller but also of his mindset. He might not be getting the friendly whistles tonight and can't freak.

Of course Butler can't cover everyone, and they have some black holes too. Should be interesting.
Are those mostly rate stats? I don't think Jimmy is underrated nationally (at least not since the bubble finals), his main problem is staying on the court. Since leaving Chicago in 2017, he's missed about 20 games per year, which isn't quite Kawhi territory, but is close to even with Anthony Davis (about 24 games missed over that same stretch).
 

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Refs ate the whistles tonight, not that unusual for a Foster crew. To his credit Tatum didn't lose his mind too badly, especially since Lowry was basically doing what he wanted out there and getting calls. Even Brown got a little put off by the random tight calls amid a pretty physical contest (not badly but a little). Tatum held cool. Both looked like men playing among boys for large stretches. I'm pretty pumped. Jayson seems to have no fear whatsoever. He has leveled up.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The slow-starting Tatum we are all used to is nowhere to be found this year. He just set the Celtic record for points in the first 3 games of a season, with 104. Here's Tatum in October:

2017-18: 7 games, .484/.500/.839, 14.0 PPG
2018-19: 7 games, .404/.286/.875, 16.6 PPG
2019-20: 4 games, .373/.483/.714, 21.5 PPG
2020-21: 5* games, .450/.417/.867, 23.6 PPG (* December)
2021-22: 6 games, .400/.273/.781, 26.7 PPG
2022-23: 3 games (of 6), .587/.333/..880, 34.7 PPG
 

TripleOT

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The slow-starting Tatum we are all used to is nowhere to be found this year. He just set the Celtic record for points in the first 3 games of a season, with 104. Here's Tatum in October:

2017-18: 7 games, .484/.500/.839, 14.0 PPG
2018-19: 7 games, .404/.286/.875, 16.6 PPG
2019-20: 4 games, .373/.483/.714, 21.5 PPG
2020-21: 5* games, .450/.417/.867, 23.6 PPG (* December)
2021-22: 6 games, .400/.273/.781, 26.7 PPG
2022-23: 3 games (of 6), .587/.333/..880, 34.7 PPG
Those “slow starts” were right around Tatum’s season scoring averages those seasons. In most of those seasons, the shooting accuracy was down.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Those “slow starts” were right around Tatum’s season scoring averages those seasons. In most of those seasons, the shooting accuracy was down.
He's a career .458 shooter from the field. He's been worse than that, usually markedly, every year except for his rookie year (different role in the offense) and this year.
 

lexrageorge

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Have to throw a big LOL to Washburn's Shank imitation in the Glob last week:

Adam: ... What are you expecting from Jayson Tatum? His strong regular season was mostly forgotten after a tough Finals, and he hasn’t looked great in the preseason, even if it’s just the preseason.

Gary: You would think Tatum went into the lab all summer trying to work on the things Golden State exposed in the Finals. Instead, it seems like Tatum kind of brushed off the Finals loss, did some hanging out, and is hoping the same summer regimen is going to help him take the next step. That’s just an observation. He has to become a more vocal leader, stop complaining about the officiating and not settle for as many 3-pointers. I was a little disturbed he brushed off his preseason struggles as just being a “slow starter.” Jaylen Brown played this preseason like he had something to prove, like he’s been working. Tatum appeared like the Celtics won the Finals a few months ago. Maybe he’ll show the hunger and improvement during the regular season, but I didn’t see much in the preseason. They need a better Tatum in all facets.
 

Fishy1

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lmfao what a clown
I'm sure we'll get some nonsense about how he's "answered those questions" now, as if Jayson was listening at all to what these guys were saying. Dude is locked in on getting better and has been for years now.
 

chilidawg

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Love this:

"As well as he scored the ball, the insistence on defending Banchero did more to show off Tatum’s early-season mindset. On the second leg of a back-to-back, he could have let the Celtics coast but refused to let them settle for a weak effort. In some ways, he wasn’t just setting the tone for Saturday night, but for the entire season. With one demand, Tatum made it clear that every game matters to him. That he won’t stand for any slippage. That the finals loss has shaped his approach to this season and convinced him to take everything seriously."

https://theathletic.com/3720306/2022/10/23/celtics-jayson-tatum-paolo-banchero/