Jayson Tatum Needs His Own Thread

lovegtm

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The playmaking is encouraging. Unfortunately, it looks like he’s lost some of his comfort level on the stepback and control attacking the rim.

Hopefully a first round matchup against a hobbled Sixers team lets him work back into shape.
 

DannyDarwinism

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So assuming that we see Tacko-time lineup tomorrow, JT's going to finish the regular season at 23.4/7/3/1.4/0.9 on 40.3/48/81.2 shooting, with a 4.0 BPM, 3.8 RPM (11th overall), and 4.4 PIPM (10th overall). Plus, he's a potential All-NBA level defender. In his 22 year old season. Hot damn is right, we're looking at a superstar. With the unguardable step-back in your eye to prove it.

Meanwhile, JB with the Remedy is sitting at 20.3/6.4/2.1/1.1/0.4, at 38.2/54.3/72.4, and his improvement in ball-handling, and finishing, particularly with the left, has been a revelation that has made him an dangerous weapon when paired with his first step. Also a great, versatile defender.

With the progression they've shown, there's just so many ways to build around these two. Great time to be a Cs fan.
 

BigSoxFan

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So assuming that we see Tacko-time lineup tomorrow, JT's going to finish the regular season at 23.4/7/3/1.4/0.9 on 40.3/48/81.2 shooting, with a 4.0 BPM, 3.8 RPM (11th overall), and 4.4 PIPM (10th overall). Plus, he's a potential All-NBA level defender. In his 22 year old season. Hot damn is right, we're looking at a superstar. With the unguardable step-back in your eye to prove it.

Meanwhile, JB with the Remedy is sitting at 20.3/6.4/2.1/1.1/0.4, at 38.2/54.3/72.4, and his improvement in ball-handling, and finishing, particularly with the left, has been a revelation that has made him an dangerous weapon when paired with his first step. Also a great, versatile defender.

With the progression they've shown, there's just so many ways to build around these two. Great time to be a Cs fan.
And imagine if TL develops into that Capela type that he’s been showing glimpses of...

AND you have the development of Langford and this year’s Memphis pick to look forward to as well.

Pumped and jacked for the next decade of Celtics basketball.
 

lovegtm

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I don't want to get prematurely excited, but Tatum/Brown/good TL would be a ludicrous defensive core. That gives you a lot of options in terms of acquiring smaller scoring guards who are a bit defensively challenged.
 

bigq

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That gives you a lot of options in terms of acquiring smaller scoring guards who are a bit defensively challenged.
I am really excited about the TL development but this wouldn’t really be a change of course relative to the way Ainge has built the team for the better part of the past six or so years. Seems like this dynamic would simply enable Ainge to continue to do what he has been doing only in a more cost controlled manner.

edit - grammar and also my comments were specific to the PG position.
 

DannyDarwinism

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I don't want to get prematurely excited, but Tatum/Brown/good TL would be a ludicrous defensive core. That gives you a lot of options in terms of acquiring smaller scoring guards who are a bit defensively challenged.
Yeah, I've had my heart set on Xavier Tillman coming out of this draft as a small-ball big who plays D and does great dirty work, but with J&J as the cornerstones, they really could go in any direction with that Memphis pick looking better and better. We may be in a position to scoop Kira Lewis or one of the other lotto-talent PGs, or continue their trend of valuing potential two-way wings and throwing the dice on a Nesmith/Saddiq Bey type 3&D guy. Hitting on the hardest position to fill really makes a GM's job a lot easier.
 

the moops

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And imagine if TL develops into that Capela type that he’s been showing glimpses of...

AND you have the development of Langford and this year’s Memphis pick to look forward to as well.

Pumped and jacked for the next decade of Celtics basketball.
Don't give up on that 2021 unprotected pick quite yet!
 

nighthob

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Yeah, Memphis grabbing #4 this year and Boston landing Jalen Johnson, Jonathan Kuminga, or Cade Cunningham next year as a result would be the dream scenario. And send 29 NBA GMs reaching for their bottles of Pepto (or scotch).
 

Euclis20

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I don't want to get prematurely excited, but Tatum/Brown/good TL would be a ludicrous defensive core. That gives you a lot of options in terms of acquiring smaller scoring guards who are a bit defensively challenged.
He's only signed for two more years after this, but adding Smart to that group.....wow.
 

luckiestman

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I don't want to get prematurely excited, but Tatum/Brown/good TL would be a ludicrous defensive core. That gives you a lot of options in terms of acquiring smaller scoring guards who are a bit defensively challenged.
Prematurely? As long as we have a healthy Tatum, the Celtics will be good. The kid is awesome and it has been obvious since his first Summer League.
 

luckiestman

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Paul Pierce was 25 years old during the 2002-2003 season. Tatum is 21. I’m pretty excited to see what kind of numbers Tatum is putting up in four years time. :p
22 unless you’re making the forever 21 joke.
 

bigq

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Tatum gets some well deserved praise for his defense here in a breakdown of his Game 1 performance including five video examples:


He held his matchups to just eight points on 3-of-11 shooting over 51.5 partial possessions.

“If I’m trying to be one of the best players in the league, defense has got to be just as important as scoring the ball,” Tatum said. “That’s kind of what we build our culture on here with the Celtics, taking pride in guarding your yard.”

When asked about Tatum’s performance, Brad Stevens praised his defensive effort, calling his play on that end “unbelievable.”


The article then goes on to film breakdown. A fun read.
 

lovegtm

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Thanks for that, bigq.

Honestly wrt Hayward, I’m at the point where I feel like “let’s fucking go.” Take the training wheels off, ride the shit out of Tatum and Kemba offensively, and just let the chips fall where they may. I’d love to see both of them just let it fly against the room Philly gives.
 

BigSoxFan

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Thanks for that, bigq.

Honestly wrt Hayward, I’m at the point where I feel like “let’s fucking go.” Take the training wheels off, ride the shit out of Tatum and Kemba offensively, and just let the chips fall where they may. I’d love to see both of them just let it fly against the room Philly gives.
I feel like his injury and the Jay’s ascension have really overshadowed Kemba but now would be a great time for him to remind us why we brought him here.
 

lovegtm

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Great looks are available, and his knee looks great. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t have some games where he drops a lot of pullup 3s.
 

lovegtm

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The above image is what they need to do to Toronto and Milwaukee until they can't play Gasol and Lopez any more. Embiid isn't even that far back here, but he's a non-factor in altering the shot. The Celtics can consistently get this for either Tatum or Kemba (Kemba will take it in for an elbow jumper if his man is still close off the screen; Tatum is too tall so it doesn't matter.)
 

Jimbodandy

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The above image is what they need to do to Toronto and Milwaukee until they can't play Gasol and Lopez any more. Embiid isn't even that far back here, but he's a non-factor in altering the shot. The Celtics can consistently get this for either Tatum or Kemba (Kemba will take it in for an elbow jumper if his man is still close off the screen; Tatum is too tall so it doesn't matter.)
And with the spacing that they have and a gassed Embiid, you can get to the glass against him there too. If Brown doesn't make a sizeable adjustment, the next two games will be similar.
 

DJnVa

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Tatum, post 2 of 18 game:

27.1/6.6/3.6 while shooting 53.7% and 51.7% from three on nearly 8 3PA/game.
 

DannyDarwinism

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4 games, 108 points on 78 shots, 39 boards, 9 blocks, 10 assists. Great defense.

3 turnovers.

He made strides with his passing in the past couple of months, and I have no doubt that he’ll focus on honing that aspect of his craft, knowing it’s the last step in unleashing a juggernaut. I expect he’ll continue to sharpen his floater game. Icing on the cake.

Big wings who can score, create and defend at a high level are the queens of the NBA chessboard. He’s a future MVP candidate, and it wouldn’t shock me if he’s in the discussion as early as next year.
 

BigSoxFan

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4 games, 108 points on 78 shots, 39 boards, 9 blocks, 10 assists. Great defense.

3 turnovers.

He made strides with his passing in the past couple of months, and I have no doubt that he’ll focus on honing that aspect of his craft, knowing it’s the last step in unleashing a juggernaut. I expect he’ll continue to sharpen his floater game. Icing on the cake.

Big wings who can score, create and defend at a high level are the queens of the NBA chessboard. He’s a future MVP candidate, and it wouldn’t shock me if he’s in the discussion as early as next year.
He just keeps getting better and better. I really don’t know what his ceiling is. The passing is basically the last frontier for him and he’s making steady, incremental progress there, similar to Kawhi. The chemistry between he and Jaylen is so apparent and Kemba has seamlessly fit in.
 

BigSoxFan

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Serious question:

Who are we trading Tatum for right now given age of both players?

Giannis is a yes for me
Luka is a maybe
Harden is almost 31 and plays no D - nope

LeBron too old - nope

AD - better talent but 28 in March and always banged up. Nope

Kawhi - similar answer as AD. Currently better player but turns 30 next year so nope

Lillard - better pure scorer but 30 and no D - nope

Westbrook - nope

Zion - hard to peg his ceiling but no way right now

Donovan - really great young talent - I like Tatum more but he’s at least in the discussion

Embiid - lolz

Simmons - cant shoot - nope

Siakam - nope

Towns - nope no D

Curry - too old...nope

Thompson - too old and not an alpha scorer

Durant - too old and Achilles issues

Did I miss anyone?
 

lovegtm

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Serious question:

Who are we trading Tatum for right now given age of both players?

Giannis is a yes for me
Luka is a maybe
Harden is almost 31 and plays no D - nope

LeBron too old - nope

AD - better talent but 28 in March and always banged up. Nope

Kawhi - similar answer as AD. Currently better player but turns 30 next year so nope

Lillard - better pure scorer but 30 and no D - nope

Westbrook - nope

Zion - hard to peg his ceiling but no way right now

Donovan - really great young talent - I like Tatum more but he’s at least in the discussion

Embiid - lolz

Simmons - cant shoot - nope

Siakam - nope

Towns - nope no D

Curry - too old...nope

Thompson - too old and not an alpha scorer

Durant - too old and Achilles issues

Did I miss anyone?
No way you can even consider trading Tatum for Donovan Mitchell. There's a 1.5 year age gap, and Tatum's size puts him in a totally different tier for defensive potential and positional value.

Luka I would do, because I think you can get him moving his feet well enough to fit in a lot of schemes, and the offense is transcendent.

Giannis is a no because of contract uncertainty. With contract certainty it would be a very close call, simply because of how much Tatum is likely to improve.

Everyone else is an obvious no because of age.

With both Tatum and Luka, we're looking at really historic outliers in terms of how good they are at those ages. Players with their growth curves tend to get a good deal better as well, which has to be priced in.
 

lovegtm

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Giannis probably make them 2 and 3.
Giannis is definitely better than them now. People consistently undervalue the growth potential of elite 21-23 year-olds imo, and 3 years is a long time. In addition, you should always weight elite self-created 3-point shooting more highly than feels comfortable.

This time last year, we were hoping NO would take Tatum straight-up for AD. No GM would trade Tatum for AD now, even with contract certainty. Things change fast when you're talking about young stars. This time last year, people (myself included) were fine trading Jaylen for Myles Turner.

I know these projections for Tatum sound crazy and homer-ish, but he just has so much untapped offensive upside. Once he weaponizes his stepback 3 to set up drives, and improves his craft+strength on the drive, he's going to be ludicrous. He also has a lot of potential growth as a passer. These are things that guys with his skill level tend to be able to add with time.
 
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DannyDarwinism

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Giannis is definitely better than them now. People consistently undervalue the growth potential of elite 21-23 year-olds imo, and 3 years is a long time. In addition, you should always weight elite self-created 3-point shooting more highly than feels comfortable.

This time last year, we were hoping NO would take Tatum straight-up for AD. No GM would trade Tatum for AD now, even with contract certainty. Things change fast when you're talking about young stars. This time last year, people (myself included) were fine trading Jaylen for Myles Turner.

I know these projections for Tatum sound crazy and homer-ish, but he just has so much untapped offensive upside. Once he weaponizes his stepback 3 to set up drives, and improves his craft+strength on the drive, he's going to be ludicrous. He also has a lot of potential growth as a passer. These are things that guys with his skill level tend to be able to add with time.
I agree with all this, but it’s hard to overstate how much of a cheat code Giannis is on defense. Much gets made of how tough the Bucks are to score on at the rim, but he’s like Tatum plus 6 inches of reach defending the nail, and a monster in transition D. The size, strength and quickness makes life so tough for opposing perimeter players, even for normally simple things like finding angles for entry passes.

And of course that’s all while putting up 35/16/6.6 per 36 on 61.3 TS% and drawing fouls at an elite rate. If he improves his FT and three point shooting to league average- not a huge ask given that he’s still only 25- we’re looking at Steph Curry-like offensive efficiency from a perennial DPOY candidate. I am skeptical that he’ll develop the pull-up game, which is critical for every other offensive superstar, but he provides value in so many other ways. Horst deserves credit for the team he’s built around him, but Giannis makes life pretty easy for a GM. How many teams are instant title contenders if you add Giannis, or even swap him for their best player?
 

lovegtm

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I agree with all this, but it’s hard to overstate how much of a cheat code Giannis is on defense. Much gets made of how tough the Bucks are to score on at the rim, but he’s like Tatum plus 6 inches of reach defending the nail, and a monster in transition D. The size, strength and quickness makes life so tough for opposing perimeter players, even for normally simple things like finding angles for entry passes.

And of course that’s all while putting up 35/16/6.6 per 36 on 61.3 TS% and drawing fouls at an elite rate. If he improves his FT and three point shooting to league average- not a huge ask given that he’s still only 25- we’re looking at Steph Curry-like offensive efficiency from a perennial DPOY candidate. I am skeptical that he’ll develop the pull-up game, which is critical for every other offensive superstar, but he provides value in so many other ways. Horst deserves credit for the team he’s built around him, but Giannis makes life pretty easy for a GM. How many teams are instant title contenders if you add Giannis, or even swap him for their best player?
Yeah, Giannis is freaking incredible for the reasons you state, and clearly the #1 player in the league right now by a decent margin imo (hmmmm ok regular season, Kawhi always makes me think twice about this in the playoffs). However, he is likely to remain at pretty much this level of awesomeness indefinitely.

I just keep coming back to the fact that Steph and Dame and to some degree Harden are probably "just" top 10-20 players if they don't have the self-created 3, and then imagine what that means for a guy who's already a defensive monster and can add a ton to his driving and passing game.

22 is just so young. (21 in Luka's case)
 

DJnVa

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And in one of those quirky, made up stats:

The young Celtics star continued his quest to become the next incarnation of his chief inspiration, dropping 28 points on 10-for-18 shooting to go with 15 rebounds, four assists and one turnover in a 110-106 win to sweep the Philadelphia 76ers. Only Larry Bird and Dave Cowens have matched those playoff numbers on 50 percent shooting in a Celtics uniform. When accounting for the one turnover, the league-wide list whittles down to Tim Duncan, Chris Webber, Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing.
Sixers coach Brett Brown and GM Elton Brand might not survive this first-round exit.

Tatum created that situation. It’s what legends do. They end movements. They break up teams. They kill a process.
 
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Jimbodandy

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I know these projections for Tatum sound crazy and homer-ish, but he just has so much untapped offensive upside. Once he weaponizes his stepback 3 to set up drives, and improves his craft+strength on the drive, he's going to be ludicrous. He also has a lot of potential growth as a passer. These are things that guys with his skill level tend to be able to add with time.
They're not at all crazy and homerish. The stepback three is almost unblockable, and he hits it at a stupid rate already.

If one wants to sound homerish, it's worth noting how he went from a guy whose rim finish was suspect to a guy who has guys bouncing off of him now. In one year, at his age. For all of the Durant comparisons, what I see is a guy who projects to have Harden's stepback, Durant's automatic second-level game, and Lebron's easy finishes, all before his second contract's ink is dry.

I would understand and be ok with Doncic or Giannis (if contract), but if I'm king of the Celtics, Tatum isn't going for any one man.
 

BaseballJones

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With his development, I suspect we have another 8-10 years of elite Tatum. LeBron showed that you can still be elite into your 30s with the right game. Tatum's game isn't built on raw athleticism. He's just a great overall player that has a great deal of savvy, and that means to me his game should last even as his athleticism declines. After that elite period, he will still be a very useful NBA player.
 

BigSoxFan

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With his development, I suspect we have another 8-10 years of elite Tatum. LeBron showed that you can still be elite into your 30s with the right game. Tatum's game isn't built on raw athleticism. He's just a great overall player that has a great deal of savvy, and that means to me his game should last even as his athleticism declines. After that elite period, he will still be a very useful NBA player.
Agreed. Pierce made his last AS game at 34. I think Tatum may be similar. Like Pierce, Tatum will be such a savvy scorer 10 years from now that he’ll be able to settle in nicely as a key complementary piece once his elite years are over.
 

benhogan

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They're not at all crazy and homerish. The stepback three is almost unblockable, and he hits it at a stupid rate already.

If one wants to sound homerish, it's worth noting how he went from a guy whose rim finish was suspect to a guy who has guys bouncing off of him now. In one year, at his age. For all of the Durant comparisons, what I see is a guy who projects to have Harden's stepback, Durant's automatic second-level game, and Lebron's easy finishes, all before his second contract's ink is dry.

I would understand and be ok with Doncic or Giannis (if contract), but if I'm king of the Celtics, Tatum isn't going for any one man.
Yep. I keep Tatum for all the reasons above. No reason to say anything negative about Luka/GA since neither of those guys would ever be offered.

I know Luka is younger but he is a little more filled out. I still think JT has 10-15 lbs of muscle to come that will make him a foul drawing/+1 machine at the rim.

Two other positive things that should be mentioned about JT moving forward:

1. Excellent immediate family infrastructure. His single mom, worked PT to put herself through law school, has provided a fantastic role model for JT. He is also an adoring father that is more interested in reading bedtime stories to Deuce then hitting the hottest Miami after-hours club or Gentlemens' Establishment in Atlanta

2. Work ethic/improvement. He has been working with Drew Hanlen sice 8th grade. Every summer its back to St Louis to work on another part of his game. Step back/side step 3s was last summer, we can see those tangible benefits.
 

BaseballJones

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So what's Tatum's realistic ceiling?

- Perennial all-star and 25 ppg scorer for 8 years?

- Five-year run on the 1st team all-NBA?

- League MVP?

- Basketball Hall of Famer?

- Best basketball player on planet Earth for a time?
 

benhogan

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So what's Tatum's realistic ceiling?

- Perennial all-star and 25 ppg scorer for 8 years? Is there now

- Five-year run on the 1st team all-NBA? starting next season

- League MVP? 2-3 yrs away from winning

- Basketball Hall of Famer? yes

- Best basketball player on planet Earth for a time? yes
If Brad Stevens can turn IT into a top 3 MVP candidate, I don't see it that hard for Brad to turn on the JT awards spigot.
 

slamminsammya

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Its incredible how good he is despite being still a subpar finisher at the rim. When he figures out how to get angles and use his length at the hoop it will be unstoppable.
 

BigSoxFan

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If Brad Stevens can turn IT into a top 3 MVP candidate, I don't see it that hard for Brad to turn on the JT awards spigot.
And Tatum already has media support. Giannis can’t win every year and guys like Harden and LeBron are getting old. I think it’ll be tough for Tatum to beat Luka most years though given his counting stats advantage.

Gun to my head, I say Tatum gets close but never wins MVP.