Jayson Tatum's Rise to the Top

slamminsammya

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jezza1918

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The defensive nature of defending Tatum puzzles me. The Cs are his team, and they have played flat, soft ball (as has he at times) does not this reflect a tiny amount on him?
I think it does. But on a high level I defend Tatum because leading a team to a championship before your 26 year old season is the exception, not the rule. So when I have family members telling me they agree with CHB that there are "no excuses" this time around for the Celtics, Im quick to point that fact out...Curry/Durant/Lebron/Giannis all did not win until at least 26. There are various reasons as to why that may be the case, and the reasons in Tatum's case may be more annoying (Im not saying they are, but acknowledge they might be), but the expectation that Tatum should've won already, or has to win this year, is what I defend against.
 

Auger34

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I think it does. But on a high level I defend Tatum because leading a team to a championship before your 26 year old season is the exception, not the rule. So when I have family members telling me they agree with CHB that there are "no excuses" this time around for the Celtics, Im quick to point that fact out...Curry/Durant/Lebron/Giannis all did not win until at least 26. There are various reasons as to why that may be the case, and the reasons in Tatum's case may be more annoying (Im not saying they are, but acknowledge they might be), but the expectation that Tatum should've won already, or has to win this year, is what I defend against.
Context is everything. I’m no CHB and I won’t be saying it’s on Tatum no matter what, but this team should win this year.
I think every person that pays attention to basketball believes they have the best top 8 in the NBA. They have 2 top 20 guys. The team that everyone was most afraid of, with the best player in the NBA, lost in the 1st round. They now have home court advantage for the rest of the playoffs (well they did until they pissed down their leg in Game 1). And the team that they are playing this round, their best player and the MVP of the league, apparently has a knee injury that will require surgery. I think all of that matters much more than Tatum being 25 as opposed to 26

Things couldn’t have possibly broken better for the Celtics. This should be their year
 

jezza1918

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Context is everything. I’m no CHB and I won’t be saying it’s on Tatum no matter what, but this team should win this year.
I think every person that pays attention to basketball believes they have the best top 8 in the NBA. They have 2 top 20 guys. The team that everyone was most afraid of, with the best player in the NBA, lost in the 1st round. They now have home court advantage for the rest of the playoffs (well they did until they pissed down their leg in Game 1). And the team that they are playing this round, their best player and the MVP of the league, apparently has a knee injury that will require surgery. I think all of that matters much more than Tatum being 25 as opposed to 26

Things couldn’t have possibly broken better for the Celtics. This should be their year
Everything you write up until the bolded I agree with. But I push back the bolded because at the start of the 2nd round, while they were still the individual team favorite, the field was still the more probable bet. I think even under the best of circumstances, a ton of things have to break right. Smart is banged up, Timelord certainly seems banged up. On top of that, coaching does matter...and Mazz looks overmatched in the playoffs to date (don't want to get too sidetracked on that since it's a tatum thread).
I can certainly see how those read as excuses for why they might not win. I think my overarching premise with age the thing, is that the same type discussions were had about all the superstars from this generation. Just using Giannis as an example, the two years before the won it all they lost as the #1 seed to the Raptors in the ECF (but hey, it's ok we just ran into a hot Kawhii) and then the Heat blew their doors off 4-1 in the 2nd round (but hey, it's ok, bubble playoffs were weird).
And one final thought, as I wrote the above out, I guess my biggest issue is it seems people on this board (and in general) think it's predictive of future failure should the Celts not win it this year. Simply put, I very much disagree with that type of talk.
 

Auger34

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Everything you write up until the bolded I agree with. But I push back the bolded because at the start of the 2nd round, while they were still the individual team favorite, the field was still the more probable bet. I think even under the best of circumstances, a ton of things have to break right. Smart is banged up, Timelord certainly seems banged up. On top of that, coaching does matter...and Mazz looks overmatched in the playoffs to date (don't want to get too sidetracked on that since it's a tatum thread).
I can certainly see how those read as excuses for why they might not win. I think my overarching premise with age the thing, is that the same type discussions were had about all the superstars from this generation. Just using Giannis as an example, the two years before the won it all they lost as the #1 seed to the Raptors in the ECF (but hey, it's ok we just ran into a hot Kawhii) and then the Heat blew their doors off 4-1 in the 2nd round (but hey, it's ok, bubble playoffs were weird).
And one final thought, as I wrote the above out, I guess my biggest issue is it seems people on this board (and in general) think it's predictive of future failure should the Celts not win it this year. Simply put, I very much disagree with that type of talk.
All of what you wrote if fair but that’s the case every year. It has nothing to do with Tatum’s age. A lot of great players never won championships. The odds are stacked against you.

Other than historically great teams (Shaq/Kobe Lakers, 2nd year of “The Heatles”, and the KD/Curry Warriors) you would always take the field over one team. This year, those odds are just more in favor of the Celtics than any other year I can think of.
 

jezza1918

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All of what you wrote if fair but that’s the case every year. It has nothing to do with Tatum’s age. A lot of great players never won championships. The odds are stacked against you.

Other than historically great teams (Shaq/Kobe Lakers, 2nd year of “The Heatles”, and the KD/Curry Warriors) you would always take the field over one team. This year, those odds are just more in favor of the Celtics than any other year I can think of.
Totally agree, I guess for me, it doesn't make sense to say "you would always take the field" and "the celtics should win." So maybe we are just arguing over semantics? And again, it's the predictive type talk that I get really annoyed with.
 

RorschachsMask

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So far these playoffs, Tatum is averaging 29/10/5 on a 60% TS, 47/39/89 shooting splits, a +9 on/off, has the 4th lowest turnover rate of the top 20 guys in usage.

In crunch time, he has a 67% TS, is 3-6 from the field, 4-5 from the line, and has no turnovers. Surprisingly he’s third on the team in crunch time usage behind Smart and Brogdon, Jaylen is fourth. His 4th quarter usage is also super low at 24%, same for Jaylen at 21%.

We NEED him to have another huge game tonight, and pretty much the rest of the way lol, it’s the burden/responsibility of being a first team all nba guy. But I think people are kind of sleeping on just how great he’s been so far lol.
 

Auger34

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So far these playoffs, Tatum is averaging 29/10/5 on a 60% TS, 47/39/89 shooting splits, a +9 on/off, has the 4th lowest turnover rate of the top 20 guys in usage.

In crunch time, he has a 67% TS, is 3-6 from the field, 4-5 from the line, and has no turnovers. Surprisingly he’s third on the team in crunch time usage behind Smart and Brogdon, Jaylen is fourth. His 4th quarter usage is also super low at 24%, same for Jaylen at 21%.

We NEED him to have another huge game tonight, and pretty much the rest of the way lol, it’s the burden/responsibility of being a first team all nba guy. But I think people are kind of sleeping on just how great he’s been so far lol.
I think it’s because that set of games includes one of the worst games he’s ever played….which happened to come in an elimination game where he, and the team, completely melted down and wilted.

Probably not fair but, as you said, there’s a lot of burden:responsibility that comes with being in the top 5 of the MVP voting
 

reggiecleveland

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I think it does. But on a high level I defend Tatum because leading a team to a championship before your 26 year old season is the exception, not the rule. So when I have family members telling me they agree with CHB that there are "no excuses" this time around for the Celtics, Im quick to point that fact out...Curry/Durant/Lebron/Giannis all did not win until at least 26. There are various reasons as to why that may be the case, and the reasons in Tatum's case may be more annoying (Im not saying they are, but acknowledge they might be), but the expectation that Tatum should've won already, or has to win this year, is what I defend against.
Tatum fans, (not saying you) want their cake and to eat it too. For years we were bombarded with how many more points, etc he had at his age compared to others (most annoyingly Bird) using the fact former stars were in college and today's nba has players entering the league at a younger age. None of the "when Larry Bird was this age..." mentioned Larry didn't go to an elite school with professional coaches training him full time as a teen. When he wasn't declared the best F ever and didn't win a title at age 24 thankfully the absurd Bird comparisons subsided. I mean Bird is just as close to being the best player ever as Tatum is to being the best current player, so comparing Tatum to Bird is unfair, I still think comparing him to Pierce is more fair.

So that's what I will do. Pierce was not as talented as Tatum, but played way harder and with more confidence. Pierce's frustrating plays (bad shots, forcing the drive, making the game a personal 1 on 1 battle) were from his confidence and intensity. Tatum is an insanely skilled player and a his frustrating plays (turnovers when guarded physically, whining not running back on D) come from his reliance on his skill, and not always emotionally exerting himself.

Peak Pierce added skill, and better decision making, and Tatum needs to add more of the toughness and aggressiveness of Pierce. In both guys the other side of the coin was there, hopefully Tatum brings his warrior side to the surface more often.

To me Tatum has not had anyone (Ime aside) that seem to effectively bring out his warrior. Kyrie was horrible example of how to be the best player. Smart plays hard, but Tatum has been the superior player for years.

Likely if the Cs play soft and Tatum does too, a new coach will try to get the most out of him.
 

jezza1918

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Tatum fans, (not saying you) want their cake and to eat it too. For years we were bombarded with how many more points, etc he had at his age compared to others (most annoyingly Bird) using the fact former stars were in college and today's nba has players entering the league at a younger age. None of the "when Larry Bird was this age..." mentioned Larry didn't go to an elite school with professional coaches training him full time as a teen. When he wasn't declared the best F ever and didn't win a title at age 24 thankfully the absurd Bird comparisons subsided. I mean Bird is just as close to being the best player ever as Tatum is to being the best current player, so comparing Tatum to Bird is unfair, I still think comparing him to Pierce is more fair.

So that's what I will do. Pierce was not as talented as Tatum, but played way harder and with more confidence. Pierce's frustrating plays (bad shots, forcing the drive, making the game a personal 1 on 1 battle) were from his confidence and intensity. Tatum is an insanely skilled player and a his frustrating plays (turnovers when guarded physically, whining not running back on D) come from his reliance on his skill, and not always emotionally exerting himself.

Peak Pierce added skill, and better decision making, and Tatum needs to add more of the toughness and aggressiveness of Pierce. In both guys the other side of the coin was there, hopefully Tatum brings his warrior side to the surface more often.

To me Tatum has not had anyone (Ime aside) that seem to effectively bring out his warrior. Kyrie was horrible example of how to be the best player. Smart plays hard, but Tatum has been the superior player for years.

Likely if the Cs play soft and Tatum does too, a new coach will try to get the most out of him.
Yeah that comparison stuff in your first pgh is pretty damned asinine. I try to be as rationale as possible with any sports takes, removing as best I can any type homerism. I also agree with pretty much everything you wrote subsequently. And I actually think it backs up my main point about the predictive tone some people take when Tatum has failed before. As you said, Pierce added that stuff as he went along, and certainly NOT on his own. If the Celtics don't win it all this year (for the record, I don't think they will*), I'm 99.9% sure this thread will have plenty of takes that not only did Tatum fail this year, but he is not capable of winning it in the future.

*I think the primary reasons are a combo of Tatum still isn't elite enough yet to overcome a rookie head coach

edit: I'm going to add on, for simplicity's sake: IMO Tatum so far is following a very similar path to quite a few recent superstars, who ultimately did win a title. Does that mean he will definitely win one in next few years? Of course not. I just don't see how past failures are indicative of future ones, based on those other similar paths for similar players.
 
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Devizier

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I wouldn't settle an argument with SRS, but by that measure the Celtics are a little worse this year than last year and the Sixers are a little better. There hasn't been a huge spread in the league since the 2016-17 season, when the Warriors were at their absolute apex and got a full season from Curry to boot.

Since then, it's been pretty much anyone's game and honestly that feels correct in retrospect. None of the champions of the last 5-6 years felt inevitable. Shit happens.
 

JakeRae

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Tatum fans, (not saying you) want their cake and to eat it too. For years we were bombarded with how many more points, etc he had at his age compared to others (most annoyingly Bird) using the fact former stars were in college and today's nba has players entering the league at a younger age. None of the "when Larry Bird was this age..." mentioned Larry didn't go to an elite school with professional coaches training him full time as a teen. When he wasn't declared the best F ever and didn't win a title at age 24 thankfully the absurd Bird comparisons subsided. I mean Bird is just as close to being the best player ever as Tatum is to being the best current player, so comparing Tatum to Bird is unfair, I still think comparing him to Pierce is more fair.

So that's what I will do. Pierce was not as talented as Tatum, but played way harder and with more confidence. Pierce's frustrating plays (bad shots, forcing the drive, making the game a personal 1 on 1 battle) were from his confidence and intensity. Tatum is an insanely skilled player and a his frustrating plays (turnovers when guarded physically, whining not running back on D) come from his reliance on his skill, and not always emotionally exerting himself.

Peak Pierce added skill, and better decision making, and Tatum needs to add more of the toughness and aggressiveness of Pierce. In both guys the other side of the coin was there, hopefully Tatum brings his warrior side to the surface more often.

To me Tatum has not had anyone (Ime aside) that seem to effectively bring out his warrior. Kyrie was horrible example of how to be the best player. Smart plays hard, but Tatum has been the superior player for years.

Likely if the Cs play soft and Tatum does too, a new coach will try to get the most out of him.
This team isn’t changing coaches again, no matter what happens this postseason. Also, Tatum is much closer to Bird than he is to Pierce (neither player is really a great comp). Durant remains the best comp in terms of playing style and performance I can think of, with Tatum being not quite at Durant’s level. Their career trajectories are very similar though, not just their games.

64333
 

Auger34

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This team isn’t changing coaches again, no matter what happens this postseason. Also, Tatum is much closer to Bird than he is to Pierce (neither player is really a great comp). Durant remains the best comp in terms of playing style and performance I can think of, with Tatum being not quite at Durant’s level. Their career trajectories are very similar though, not just their games.

View attachment 64333
I don’t know about that. Kevin Durant is taller, longer, a better shooter and just overall a better offensive player. I think Tatum’s a better defender (especially at this stage of their careers).

I really can’t think of a great comp for Tatum, especially on offense. Maybe Kawhi with better touch and play making skills?
 

Auger34

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I wouldn't settle an argument with SRS, but by that measure the Celtics are a little worse this year than last year and the Sixers are a little better. There hasn't been a huge spread in the league since the 2016-17 season, when the Warriors were at their absolute apex and got a full season from Curry to boot.

Since then, it's been pretty much anyone's game and honestly that feels correct in retrospect. None of the champions of the last 5-6 years felt inevitable. Shit happens.
I am assuming SRS doesn’t account for the MVP having a grade 2 level LCL sprain and wearing a brace.

Maybe I expect too much but, if they stay relatively healthy, I think it would be an absolute disaster for the Celtics not to at least make the ECF
 

reggiecleveland

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This team isn’t changing coaches again, no matter what happens this postseason. Also, Tatum is much closer to Bird than he is to Pierce (neither player is really a great comp). Durant remains the best comp in terms of playing style and performance I can think of, with Tatum being not quite at Durant’s level. Their career trajectories are very similar though, not just their games.

View attachment 64333
In terms of how good he is, he isn't closer to Bird. Bird is by far the best of the three and peak Pierce was a better player, especially in the playoffs than Tatum is so far.

Tatum's mid post game is the closest I have seen to Bird though. If he passed like Bird, then he would be in the goat conversation.

It is not surprising he comps more to a guy closer to his era. Baseball old times say Ripken and Honus Wagner were a lot a like. Oversized SS great positional defenders, etc, but dead ball era guy's numbers will never look like Cal.
 

shoelace

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I think it’s because that set of games includes one of the worst games he’s ever played….which happened to come in an elimination game where he, and the team, completely melted down and wilted.

Probably not fair but, as you said, there’s a lot of burden:responsibility that comes with being in the top 5 of the MVP voting
Sometimes great players are bad in the playoffs? Look at LeBron's performance in the 2011 Finals, including Game 4 where he scored 8 points. I'm not putting Tatum on LeBron's level, but even a player in the GOAT conversation had an entire playoff series where he wasn't himself. I wasn't paying attention to NBA media enough at the time to hear the hot takes, but I'm sure there were a lot of think pieces written by some of dumbest people (sports writers) on the planet about how he was a failure and a choker. Maybe the "Tatum is soft and will never win" stuff is equally premature, especially after he just scored 39 points on 80% shooting from three.
 

Euclis20

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I don’t know about that. Kevin Durant is taller, longer, a better shooter and just overall a better offensive player. I think Tatum’s a better defender (especially at this stage of their careers).

I really can’t think of a great comp for Tatum, especially on offense. Maybe Kawhi with better touch and play making skills?
Tatum is a healthy, rich man's Paul George.
 

Auger34

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Tatum is a healthy, rich man's Paul George.
That was actually one of my first thoughts but healthy Paul George was a super athlete.

If we can get funky with the comparison, Tatum is a rich man’s splice of Paul George and Danny Granger
 

jezza1918

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Tatum probably cares a little too much about POINTZ/Awards for our liking. Pouting with the team up 30 isn't a great look.

I blame that on his age and Mambaism
I didn't watch last night for mental health reasons, but reading some other posts in the game thread made it sound like he did a great job of a. making mostly smart plays on the double teams and b. deferring to JB since he was on a heater. Totally agree it's not a good look pouting but I'll take the trade off of him being frustrated on the sidelines rather than him forcing it too much in game! Maybe in a year or two we will get both?
 

jmcc5400

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He was upset that he got 4 fouls - most of the ticky-tack variety.
I'll be a bit of a contrarian and say that I thought Tatum played pretty well last night, despite the shooting numbers. Made some nice passes, got to the line, didn't really force shots - the ones he took were in the flow of the game and pretty good looks for him. He got a bum whistle. I'm sure he's motivated to have big Game 3. I did not see him "pouting."
 

Justthetippett

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Tatum probably cares a little too much about POINTZ/Awards for our liking. Pouting with the team up 30 isn't a great look.

I blame that on his age and Mambaism
I think he was disappointed in his own performance, which to me is fine because it's what he can control and he knows he'll need to play better to win the series. His teammates carried him yesterday but that's probably not sustainable. I don't think he cares about his counting stats. He wants to play his best, which he didn't.
 

InstaFace

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I'd say the fouls weren't really ticky-tack. Here, have a VOD.

1) 6'48" 1Q (12'30" in the VOD), loose ball foul. Scrambling under the basket for a defensive rebound against PJ Tucker, he gets his arms caught up with Tucker's. Tucker largely boxes Tatum out, moves him out of the circle. This could've been a no-call but I'm fine with the call, Tatum has to do better not getting bodied around like that if he wants to get the benefit of the doubt when he reaches in.

2) 1'05" 1Q (30'05" in the VOD), offensive foul. 100% the right call. Niang guesses right on where Tatum will go coming off a screen, gets there well in time, Tatum charges straight into the middle of his chest with no small amount of force, plus pushes off. Most of the time Niang will guess wrong or Tatum will adjust, but this time he got him. Fair play.

3) 5'33" 2Q (51'15" in the VOD), offensive charge foul. Drives to the lane, Tucker is there with feet set HOURS before Tatum barrels into him. Tatum tries to pass out of it but hits him afterwards - sometimes the officials will let that go if it's only a little contact after the pass-out, but he hit him hard enough they have to call it. Again, fair play.

4) 7'34" 3Q (1h27'25" in the VOD), defensive non-shooting foul. Fights over an Embiid screen to stay on Harden, as he comes around he's reaching with his right arm in a normal running motion but Embiid raises his own arm, knocking Tatum's arm taught and upwards, and it hits Harden. I'd like to see that sort of thing called a "defender was pushed into it" kind of no-call, but Harden made a meal of it and I'm not at all surprised at the call. If Tatum had hit Harden anywhere but the face, maybe they let that go, but he didn't. Anyway, Tatum subbed off 2 minutes later, not to return.
 

benhogan

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I'm as guilty as the next Celtic homer of giving Tatum a pass at every turn and if he doesn't want to wave a towel like ML Carr that's cool. BUT he should be able to show some enthusiasm when the Celtics are running away with it in a MUST-WIN game.

@reggiecleveland is probably Tatum's biggest critic around here, and I think he has a fair point about Tatum's Q4 body language.
 

djbayko

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I'd say the fouls weren't really ticky-tack. Here, have a VOD.

1) 6'48" 1Q (12'30" in the VOD), loose ball foul. Scrambling under the basket for a defensive rebound against PJ Tucker, he gets his arms caught up with Tucker's. Tucker largely boxes Tatum out, moves him out of the circle. This could've been a no-call but I'm fine with the call, Tatum has to do better not getting bodied around like that if he wants to get the benefit of the doubt when he reaches in.

2) 1'05" 1Q (30'05" in the VOD), offensive foul. 100% the right call. Niang guesses right on where Tatum will go coming off a screen, gets there well in time, Tatum charges straight into the middle of his chest with no small amount of force, plus pushes off. Most of the time Niang will guess wrong or Tatum will adjust, but this time he got him. Fair play.

3) 5'33" 2Q (51'15" in the VOD), offensive charge foul. Drives to the lane, Tucker is there with feet set HOURS before Tatum barrels into him. Tatum tries to pass out of it but hits him afterwards - sometimes the officials will let that go if it's only a little contact after the pass-out, but he hit him hard enough they have to call it. Again, fair play.

4) 7'34" 3Q (1h27'25" in the VOD), defensive non-shooting foul. Fights over an Embiid screen to stay on Harden, as he comes around he's reaching with his right arm in a normal running motion but Embiid raises his own arm, knocking Tatum's arm taught and upwards, and it hits Harden. I'd like to see that sort of thing called a "defender was pushed into it" kind of no-call, but Harden made a meal of it and I'm not at all surprised at the call. If Tatum had hit Harden anywhere but the face, maybe they let that go, but he didn't. Anyway, Tatum subbed off 2 minutes later, not to return.
Your VOD requires a password for me.
 

benhogan

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https://www.audacy.com/weei/sports/celtics/meet-the-skills-coach-working-with-jayson-tatum-joel-embiid

but to Hanlen, it signaled how serious Tatum had become about taking care of his body. He had spent the two years prior to the 2022 Finals with virtually no break from basketball: the shortened offseason after the bubble playoffs and U.S.A. Basketball put mileage on his young legs and he hadn’t expected to feel so mortal against Golden State.

“He didn’t have as much gas in the tank as we had hoped,” he said.

But he wasn’t going to make that mistake again. Diet, rest, and recovery came before anything else off the court
.
 

128

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Tatum's 2 late game contested jumpers sealed what was a close game that Philly might have pulled out.
Yep, and that would have been a devastating loss for the C's, who led most of the way. Cold-blooded stuff from Tatum.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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He also had a savvy veteran move to draw a foul late with a rip through on Tobias Harris. That brough the 6ers into the bonus and Tatum drained both to make it a double digit lead.
 

Jimbodandy

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Controlled aggression from Tatum is great. Not forcing, but confidently taking big shots. Attacking the rim but taking open 3s. Kept his cool despite not getting to the line as often as he deserved. Great game. Mature is a good adjective there.
 

chilidawg

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Iso Tatum at the end makes me nervous. The first (mid range) was a good look I thought, cleanly over Harris. The second (contested 3) I don't think goes down very often and seemed like a heat check type shot. The rip through that got him to the line was the best of the three, love to see more of that.
 

GeorgeCostanza

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In a game officiated as poorly as last night I can hardly blame him for working to get a clean look off shooting the baseline fade and then step back three rather than hunting for contact.
 

lovegtm

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The end of close playoff games will almost always be about your best players hitting isolation shots.
When Kawhi and KD do this, we drool about how you need those guys to hit shots when the going gets tough.

When Tatum gets 2 clean looks and draws a foul, he was "settling for contested jumpers".

I think the Celtics have hit a decent balance in most of the playoffs between running their offense late, and letting their stars create iso shots when nothing happens. It hasn't always worked, but I don't think it's been particularly worse than most other teams; scoring at the end of playoff games is hard.
 

RorschachsMask

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When Kawhi and KD do this, we drool about how you need those guys to hit shots when the going gets tough.

When Tatum gets 2 clean looks and draws a foul, he was "settling for contested jumpers".

I think the Celtics have hit a decent balance in most of the playoffs between running their offense late, and letting their stars create iso shots when nothing happens. It hasn't always worked, but I don't think it's been particularly worse than most other teams; scoring at the end of playoff games is hard.
The Celtics late game execution isn’t always the best lol, but in the last couple of minutes, Tatum and to a lesser extent Jaylen make up for it with just hitting tough shots. I’ve posted the stats for Tatum before, his shooting in the last 30 seconds of close games is historically good.

Like you said, KD and Kawhi have been forever praised for being able to create and hit tough shots late, and it’s the same for pretty much all the best scorers