Jayson Tatum Needs His Own Thread

benhogan

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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.
good point, with my green goggles fully attached I could see Tatum winning more games, which sometimes overcomes stats for MVP votes.

Brady v Peyton all over again?
 

DannyDarwinism

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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.
Yeah, his make-up is a huge part of his growth curve so far, and my bullish projections. He wants to be great, and he’s proven adept at working hard and working smart to get there. After Luka’s game last night, my Celtic-centric thought was, “good, more fuel for Tatum’s fire”.
 

benhogan

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What's his offseason look like? Better finishing?
5-10lbs of muscle. Lots of video work to steal moves from other greats.

Ball Handling/court vision to increase assist total wouldn't shock me. Brad had him bringing the ball up yesterday a few times.

Hanlen is probably drawing up the game plan now
 

Jimbodandy

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good point, with my green goggles fully attached I could see Tatum winning more games, which sometimes overcomes stats for MVP votes.

Brady v Peyton all over again?
Yeah counting stats is definitely still a thing. Future Tatum could be the clear MVP of the league for three years and lose to a guy who throws up a 30-10-10 season on a 4 seed every one of those years.
 

lovegtm

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In addition to everything mentioned, he needs to watch Luka film from now until forever and start figuring out similar things he can do on drives and weaponizing the stepback threat to drive.
 

Kliq

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5-10lbs of muscle. Lots of video work to steal moves from other greats.

Ball Handling/court vision to increase assist total wouldn't shock me. Brad had him bringing the ball up yesterday a few times.

Hanlen is probably drawing up the game plan now
Yeah, the two obvious rooms for improvement would be adding more size, which he has already done and still has room to grow, and getting better at reading defenses. One thing he has struggled with at times is that he has gotten hot, and teams then start aggressively doubling him and he has been slow to get the ball out of his hands and to make the right pass to make defenses pay for doubling him. With more reps he will certainly improve and with Brown/Walker (and perhaps Hayward) the Celtics will be more than apt to punish defenses for selling out to stop Tatum.
 

DannyDarwinism

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Yes, getting Westbrook’d is a real possibility for him, but if he’s doing Durant/Kawhi things for one of the best teams in the league, he’ll be in the conversation for sure.

I’ve actually been heartened that the national media seems to recognize the value of his defense and understand how what he’s doing contributes to winning. He’s universally thought of significantly better than guys putting up similar-ish offensive stats like Ingram and Porter Jr., and even ascendant offensive stars like D Book and Mitchell. A couple of months ago I was kinda irked by some in the national media putting Zion ahead of him when Zion has shown so little on D. I wonder how they feel now.
 

lovegtm

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Yes, getting Westbrook’d is a real possibility for him, but if he’s doing Durant/Kawhi things for one of the best teams in the league, he’ll be in the conversation for sure.

I’ve actually been heartened that the national media seems to recognize the value of his defense and understand how what he’s doing contributes to winning. He’s universally thought of significantly better than guys putting up similar-ish offensive stats like Ingram and Porter Jr., and even ascendant offensive stars like D Book and Mitchell. A couple of months ago I was kinda irked by some in the national media putting Zion ahead of him when Zion has shown so little on D. I wonder how they feel now.
Zion has low-key bust potential.
 

DannyDarwinism

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In addition to everything mentioned, he needs to watch Luka film from now until forever and start figuring out similar things he can do on drives and weaponizing the stepback threat to drive.
Exactly. Strength and weight will be useful, but it’s mainly film stuff on reading defenses. I’m confident he’ll get there. He won’t be Luka, but I think he can get to Jimmy Butler type facilitation, which is really the next, 1st Team All-NBA, level for him. I honestly didn’t think that was a realistic outcome for him a year ago.
 

DannyDarwinism

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Zion has low-key bust potential.
I will choose to believe this is a moobs pun...

Seriously though, even aside from weight and injury concerns- which are real - his awareness was pretty bad this year. Tatum’s rookie year game threads are filled with us marveling at how precocious he was, how he always seemed to be in the right spot. Guys can obviously get a lot better with reps and study- Jaylen’s Exhibit A for a guy who was pretty clueless making strides in court awareness- but it’s a concern for sure, especially for a guy who doesn’t project as an average shooter.
 

Kliq

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Per 36 minutes Zion averaged 29-8 on 58% shooting as a teenager. It is clear so far that he is going to be a really special player. The questions about his weight and durability are very real. His defense might be a problem down the road, but a lot of rookies really suck at defense, so I'm really not willing to make a judgement on that.

I'd be interested to see if you surveyed NBA GM's and asked them "Did you think Zion's rookie season was a success?" or "Are you higher or lower on Zion than you were at this point last year?" and see what the responses were. After the Pelicans bombed in the bubble I think it left a bad taste in our mouths, but it is hard to look at Zion's production this season and see him as having a bad year. The major question is just if he is going to stay healthy and can he play a full season at a high level?
 

lovegtm

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Yeah I don’t want to derail the Tatum thread with Zion talk, my b. My only (slightly overstated point) is that the multiple question marks around him add up to some serious potential problems. He clearly will be an NBA force offensively if healthy though.
 

nighthob

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Personally I think the Pelicans will be much improved when they sign & trade Ingram to some sucker like the Knicks. He's the definition of fool's gold. (Although he has enough talent that by the time he hits his third or fourth team he might finally figure it out.)

As for Tatum, given his gym rat nature, I've no doubt that he gets up to 235-240 and pillages the NBA. The stepback jumper is just absurd and he's starting to bomb the thing from Curryesque distancces. When defenders have to aggressively cover the fully grown Tatum 35' from the net he's moving to perennial MVP candidate.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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If Tatum ups his playmaking, he should be in the conversation for best player in the league. His defense, as we know, is exceptional and now he is showing the ability to score at an elite level consistently. Doncic still has more work to do on the defensive side of the ball.

The next step in Tatum's evolution isn't just to opportunistically use his gravity to create open looks for others - its to make it a regular part of his repertoire.
 
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Jimbodandy

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If Tatum ups his playmaking, he should be in the conversation for best player in the league. His defense, as we know, is exceptional and now he is showing the ability to score at an elite level consistently. Doncic still has more work to do on the defensive side of the ball.

The next step in Tatum's evolution isn't just opportunistically using his newfound gravity to create open looks for others - its to make it a regular part of his repertoire.
He is even closer to that playmaker than he was six months ago. One of the talking heads (wish I could remember who) was talking about how some of the younger guys basically got an extra "leap offseason" during the outage. I'm seeing it in both JB and JTs offensive court awareness and JTs hulkiness at the rim. Both guys had improved already before this 2019-2020 at vision, especially Tatum, but they seemed to have taken another leap during stoppage time and maybe even while in the bubble itself. CBS having a captive audience could have helped.

Tatum being able to generate five different kinds of reliable looks for himself and bunnies for his teammates makes him a borderline top 20 player if he did nothing on defense.
 

NomarsFool

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I don't know. Tatum was playing amazing before the stoppage, and he seems pretty much the same player (other than that initial stinker) since he came back. I do think Brown has upped his game a bit - although he still seems to be a bit inconsistent on defense. Overall great defensive player, but then every once in awhile it looks like he gets lost out there or something.
 

Jimbodandy

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I don't know. Tatum was playing amazing before the stoppage, and he seems pretty much the same player (other than that initial stinker) since he came back. I do think Brown has upped his game a bit - although he still seems to be a bit inconsistent on defense. Overall great defensive player, but then every once in awhile it looks like he gets lost out there or something.
I'm as big of a JB fan as there is, but your last sentence is correct. And it's still a huge improvement every year. He looked like bambi in year one and has improved at all aspects since then incrementally. Still not perfect.
 

amarshal2

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Are there 10 better players in the league than Tatum right now, even including Durant? I say no. Apologies to Jokic and Paul George, etc, but I’ve got Tatum roughly in the 8-10 range with Luka and Dame.
 

RorschachsMask

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I have Tatum 8th at the moment. Hard to ignore the combination of raw and impact numbers that show him being a superstar. He’s now up to 7th in PIPM for regular season+playoffs. Same for RAPTOR, but I’m not a big fan of that.

I’m known on realgm for being a bit of a Tatum fanboy, but that’s fine by me. We clearly have got a best player on a championship team guy, and he’s 22.
 

Koufax

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I don't recall Tatum having that floater before the break. To me that's the single most dramatic change in his game. It's another weapon in a growing quiver of weapons.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Another area where Tatum has upside is finishing around the rim. Last year he was at almost 68% but this year he is, for obvious reasons, favoring his perimeter attack. His FG percentage inside of three feet is ~62%.

Is it unreasonable to expect him to become as efficient as a KD who finishes at an elite ~80% clip? Absolutely. Can he finish as efficiently as LeBron or Kawhi who are in the low 70 percentage area? It feels like a decent bet to me.

Side note, Hayward was kind of a bucket around the bucket this year. Dude had a career year at ~75%. Going to need those points soon.
 

Euclis20

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It's never clear what the criteria is for this award, but Ingram seems an odd choice. He and Tatum seem to have generally followed the same path (young players who were solid last year and had shown potential for a few years, and have now improved to all star level), but Tatum's jump was far more pronounced. Luka's jump from borderline all star to superstar is more deserving, although since it was sort of expected maybe he gets discounted? Bam would have been a deserving winner.

Fun to see Fultz on that list. He improved from out of the league to an ok rotation player for a below average team. Kudos, I guess.
 

BaseballJones

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Tatum
2018-19: 15.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 50.6% eFG, 1.1 VORP
2019-20: 23.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 52.7% eFG, 3.4 VORP, #1 player on elite-level team

Ingram
2018-19: 18.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 51.8% eFG, 0.0 VORP
2019-20: 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 53.1% eFG, 2.2 VORP

Improvement
Tatum: +7.7 points, +1.0 rebounds, +0.9 assists, +2.1% eFG, +2.3 VORP
Ingram: +4.5 points, +1.0 rebounds, +1.2 assists, +1.3% eFG, +2.2 VORP

Similar statistical improvement, but Tatum did it while taking over the #1 player role on an elite team, which is a much bigger deal.
 

Kliq

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MIP is basically an assessment of how the media's perception of a player has changed over the course of a season, not necessarily who has improved the most. While you argue statistically that Tatum made a greater leap forward than Ingram, the reason Ingram wins the award is because most people figured at the end of last season that Jayson Tatum was a very good young player who was going to become an All-Star very soon. The consensus on Ingram was that he had some health issues, struggled to shoot from outside, didn't play defense (that is still true) and looked like a potential bust. His leap into being an All-Star this year was much more unexpected, so he gets more MIP points.

The award is strange because it lumps in players like Tatum or Doncic, high lottery picks who everyone figured would be very good players, with people like Trevonte Graham and Christian Wood, who were obscure players a year ago who now look like consistent starting-caliber players.
 

DJnVa

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Siakim with a 1st place vote. Be an interesting award to win 2 years in a row, no?

I think Brown should be higher, but that's based on watching him everyday and where he was.
 

DannyDarwinism

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MIP is basically an assessment of how the media's perception of a player has changed over the course of a season, not necessarily who has improved the most. While you argue statistically that Tatum made a greater leap forward than Ingram, the reason Ingram wins the award is because most people figured at the end of last season that Jayson Tatum was a very good young player who was going to become an All-Star very soon. The consensus on Ingram was that he had some health issues, struggled to shoot from outside, didn't play defense (that is still true) and looked like a potential bust. His leap into being an All-Star this year was much more unexpected, so he gets more MIP points.

The award is strange because it lumps in players like Tatum or Doncic, high lottery picks who everyone figured would be very good players, with people like Trevonte Graham and Christian Wood, who were obscure players a year ago who now look like consistent starting-caliber players.
Bingo, and very well said. (Though I think you’re mashing up Treveon and Devonte Graham to get “Trevonte”.)
 

DannyDarwinism

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Lol yeah, not sure what was going on there!
Treveon Graham is definitely in the running for the This Guy’s Still Kind of a Scrub Award.

I saw some pundit suggest excluding guys on rookie contracts from the MIP award, but I’m fine with it as is, with the understanding that its purpose is basically how you defined it.
 

nighthob

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I mean it's clearly Devonté Graham that's improved the most since he's gone from total scrubeenie to average NBA starter. He even shoots treys well on volume now. This, by the way, should give us hope with Arsen Edwards. If Graham can take a year two leap, so can Edwards. Probably more easily due to his role as 4th/5th guard (depending on whether or not Hayward's back).

But, yeah, due to being high profile Ingram won the award even though he still sort of sucks. He's destined to be the crack whore's Carmelo Anthony. He'll score a lot of points, not play a lot of D, and be the best player on a series of 25-35 win teams. Tatum, on the other hand, will settle for being the best player on a current contender that wins titles.
 

nighthob

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Jayson was clearly feeling pissed off by this bogus vote and wanted to show everyone just how wrong they were.
 

slamminsammya

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Was it me or has Toronto been very explicitly trying to take away his step back threes? They seem to really be overplaying him to drive and force him to put the ball on the floor. I didn't see him shoot a single one tonight.
 

lexrageorge

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Jayson was clearly feeling pissed off by this bogus vote and wanted to show everyone just how wrong they were.
Does anyone still think Tatum is not the best player on the court this series?

P.S.: I was wrong about that in the Philly series.
 

benhogan

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future Tatum with 10-15lbs of muscle will resemble the player from yesterday. a 3pt sniper, distributor and a +1 FT shooting machine.

The kid devours and reacts to schemes now.

Here is some of the article (this site is worth the $$$):

Drawing free throws should be one of his next frontiers, but he looked like a master at that skill Tuesday. Tatum invited contact and played through it. He lifted his defenders into the air, got them off balance and sought out whistles. Nurse didn’t like that Tatum shot 14 free throws — five fewer than the entire Raptors team — but he earned most of them. Even when the Raptors sent two defenders at Tatum, he regularly made decisive moves to evade them. He often tries to drag out a big man in pick-and-roll coverage, then get into his step-back game, but shifted into more of an attack mode Tuesday. When Serge Ibaka tried to press out on him, Tatum drove right by the big man, refusing to give the Raptors time to trap him:
“They’re a great defensive team, so you can’t dance and play with the ball,” Tatum said. “They’ve got good defenders and they play great team defense, so you’ve just got to make quick decisions and play with some pace.”
Very rarely do players improve over the course of a single season like Tatum did this year. He jumped out of several inefficient habits, became one of the NBA’s best off-the-dribble 3-point shooters and kept on growing. He doesn’t have nearly as many rough moments these days, but the Raptors are the type of team to challenge whatever weaknesses he still has. They’re mean, tough and together. Tatum will feel their pressure all series.

He handled it all Tuesday. He scored a playoff career-high 34 points. He played all but 51 seconds after halftime. He assisted on Smart’s first three 3-pointers of the fourth quarter. The second assist in that sequence, a cross-court pass, took advantage of a Raptors adjustment. By taking away the corner 3-pointer, they were forcing the Celtics to make a more difficult read. Tatum hasn’t always made the right pass throughout his career, but he sees the court a tick or two more quickly these days
 
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BaseballJones

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Pretty nice performance. I think he still doesn't get quite as much credit because he's not having those 43 point explosions. But he's just a steady solid scorer that does some of everything. What a fantastic basketball player. What I love is that he's not a stat-stuffer on a crap team. He's a legit #1 player on a top-5 team in the NBA fighting for a title.
 

Jimbodandy

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Pretty nice performance. I think he still doesn't get quite as much credit because he's not having those 43 point explosions. But he's just a steady solid scorer that does some of everything. What a fantastic basketball player. What I love is that he's not a stat-stuffer on a crap team. He's a legit #1 player on a top-5 team in the NBA fighting for a title.
He had 34 on 17 shots. Even dummy hoop twitterverse is onto him now. Yeah, they'll still deify the guy who gets 44 on 32 shots instead, but he's a max guy until he takes a vet minimum ring-chasing deal 15 years from now.
 

nighthob

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He had 34 on 17 shots. Even dummy hoop twitterverse is onto him now. Yeah, they'll still deify the guy who gets 44 on 32 shots instead, but he's a max guy until he takes a vet minimum ring-chasing deal 15 years from now.
Do you really think that he’ll want an eighth ring that badly?
 

lovegtm

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It's impressive how much stronger he already looks in the post. Ibaka tried to post him in Game 1 and got utterly stoned. I can't wait for "Tatum at center" death lineups 3 years from now.
 

benhogan

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It's impressive how much stronger he already looks in the post. Ibaka tried to post him in Game 1 and got utterly stoned. I can't wait for "Tatum at center" death lineups 3 years from now.
you won't have to wait long since we'll get a fair amount of JB at the 5 death lineups next season
 

NomarsFool

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There's always a lot of discussion about Tatum getting stronger by adding more muscle - but is there also a risk that slows him down?
 

Jimbodandy

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There's always a lot of discussion about Tatum getting stronger by adding more muscle - but is there also a risk that slows him down?
He didn't add ridiculous bulk, nor did JB. It's functional bulk. He has a specific plan, and it didn't come from the tanktop creatine guy with the vintage Firebird.
 
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nighthob

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There's always a lot of discussion about Tatum getting stronger by adding more muscle - but is there also a risk that slows him down?
There's a weight that players can carry without a loss of athleticism, and most of us guess wildly judging by the shoulders and wrists (the bigger the skeleton the easier it is to carry mass). Tatum would unquestionably be slow if he bulked up like prime LeBron, but he does look like he should be able to carry 235-240 without any real loss of athleticism.