Jayson Tatum's Rise to the Top

Ed Hillel

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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.
The three was a pretty good shot imo. He made a sick move, got separation, and had perfect balance. The turnaround was nuts, especially since it’s a deep 2, but hey it went in.
 

lovegtm

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The three was a pretty good shot imo. He made a sick move, got separation, and had perfect balance. The turnaround was nuts, especially since it’s a deep 2, but hey it went in.
When he gets clean separation, he makes that baseline 2 a lot; I don't think it's as bad a shot as it looks, for him specifically, and especially late-clock.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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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
.
Funny Mark Jones mentioned this last night - that JT didn't feel he had enough "left in the tank" last year so he has flown his personal chef in to cook for him.

Jones also mentioned that JT is continuing his lifting regimen - which includes, and this was super surprising to me - 30-40 minutes of lifting prior to games.

I'm surprised that anyone lifts before games, though I guess at this point they have a pretty good understanding of what he can and cannot do in those sessions.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The three was a pretty good shot imo. He made a sick move, got separation, and had perfect balance. The turnaround was nuts, especially since it’s a deep 2, but hey it went in.
I was impressed by how open he got with that move. If you freeze the tape right before he goes up for the shot, it looks like he's taking an uncontested three. Did the defender expected him to go up for the long 2 (as he did on the previous play)?
 

lovegtm

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I was impressed by how open he got with that move. If you freeze the tape right before he goes up for the shot, it looks like he's taking an uncontested three. Did the defender expected him to go up for the long 2 (as he did on the previous play)?
Watch his highlights (below) at 2:20. Harris closes out to him, Tatum fakes the 3, and then blows by him like he's not there. On the late stepback 3, Tatum commits fully to driving by Harris, who sells out to stop him, creating the space. There's also the the threat of a clean fadeaway 2 (Harris got burned by two of those in this game).

Tobias Harris just can't hang with Tatum, and there's a reason the Celtics went to that matchup three straight times down the stretches.

View: https://youtu.be/ReKwi0NCFss?t=140
 

jmcc5400

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When he gets clean separation, he makes that baseline 2 a lot; I don't think it's as bad a shot as it looks, for him specifically, and especially late-clock.
The baseline turnaround is a good shot for him. It’s the same shot he beat LeBron on to send one of the Laker games into OT on the other side of the floor. It’s straight from Kobe’s arsenal, which means that Tatum has probably been practicing it since he was 10.
 

lovegtm

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The baseline turnaround is a good shot for him. It’s the same shot he beat LeBron on to send one of the Laker games into OT on the other side of the floor. It’s straight from Kobe’s arsenal, which means that Tatum has probably been practicing it since he was 10.
Right, not all long 2s are created equal. Guys have their spots and shots that are more comfortable for them to get to than others.
 

Auger34

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This could have, maybe should have, been a career-defining win for Tatum. But he fell just short of it.
The dude was nails in an elimination game last year against the Bucks.
This is a game 4 where he had a bad first half. I think Tatum will have better games in this playoffs this year let alone his career
 

Eddie Jurak

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The dude was nails in an elimination game last year against the Bucks.
This is a game 4 where he had a bad first half. I think Tatum will have better games in this playoffs this year let alone his career
My point is, we don't remember Larry Bird for the near misses, such as Tatum's game tonight.
 

luckiestman

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This could have, maybe should have, been a career-defining win for Tatum. But he fell just short of it.
Monster in the 4th. he was everywhere. Then he hit the Derrick Henry 3. Should have dunked it on their fucking heads to win it. It sucks man.
 

reggiecleveland

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My point is, we don't remember Larry Bird for the near misses, such as Tatum's game tonight.
Stop comparing him to Bird. It isn't fair to Tatum. It's like comparing Devers hitting to Ted Williams.

Tatum played great in the 4th Q. That is maybe who he is. Let's enjoy this great player who blocked shots, scored inside and out, hustled his ass off, even though he didn't take the last shot and set up Smart. The Celtics missed him 4 or 5 times in transtion when he could have had easy scores.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Stop comparing him to Bird. It isn't fair to Tatum. It's like comparing Devers hitting to Ted Williams.

Tatum played great in the 4th Q. That is maybe who he is. Let's enjoy this great player who blocked shots, scored inside and out, hustled his ass off, even though he didn't take the last shot and set up Smart. The Celtics missed him 4 or 5 times in transtion when he could have had easy scores.
Fair enough. It was a great 4th.
 

Red Averages

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This could have, maybe should have, been a career-defining win for Tatum. But he fell just short of it.
Good lord. It's a game 4 in round 2 when they are up 2-1 heading into it. Why does everything need to be sensationalized after every loss?

My point is, we don't remember Larry Bird for the near misses, such as Tatum's game tonight.
First the team is not mentally tough enough to win (because they lost game 1). Then Tatum isn't as good a Bird (is it fair to compare a 25 year old to a retired top 5 player????) because he lost game 4. I can't wait to find out the other dramatic characterizations get thrown around if this goes to a game 7.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Good lord. It's a game 4 in round 2 when they are up 2-1 heading into it. Why does everything need to be sensationalized after every loss?



First the team is not mentally tough enough to win (because they lost game 1). Then Tatum wasn't as good a Bird because he lost game 4. I can't wait to find out the other dramatic characterizations get thrown around if this goes to a game 7.
Do you honestly think “Tatum isn’t as good as Bird (yet, anyway)” is a negative thing to say about Tatum?
 

Red Averages

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Do you honestly think “Tatum isn’t as good as Bird (yet, anyway)” is a negative thing to say about Tatum?
Do you think you phrased it in such a way that it was supposed to be taken any other way? You made the comparison (out of nowhere) to highlight he isn't winning like Bird won (despite not being knocked out of the playoffs btw). What else are we supposed to take from that?
 

BaseballJones

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Larry was almost the same age Tatum is now when he won his first title.
AND he had other HOF players on his team when he did win that first title. Archibald, Parish, and McHale, to be exact. This Boston team doesn't have any future Hall of Famers on it that I can see, besides Tatum (and maybe - MAYBE - Brown).
 

Devizier

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AND he had other HOF players on his team when he did win that first title. Archibald, Parish, and McHale, to be exact. This Boston team doesn't have any future Hall of Famers on it that I can see, besides Tatum (and maybe - MAYBE - Brown).
McHale and Archibald weren't really close to their peak though (for opposite reasons).

I think the supporting casts are reasonably comparable, but it's worth mentioning that their path to the finals wasn't exactly without resistance.

You could almost say that the ECF was famously competitive
 

ehaz

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I mean it is a little bit disappointing to watch Harden, Butler, Jokic, and Booker have some of these epic individual performances for a full game or two. I'm still confident we'll get a real TATUM game or two this postseason but I don't think it's crazy to be a little anxious after last year's Finals performance. The whole team sucked in the first half yesterday. That's when you need your #1 player to drag you to a win. It's incredible that he was inches away from doing so by only playing well in the second half, but yeah he was an absolute no-show for two quarters.
 

GeorgeCostanza

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I mean it is a little bit disappointing to watch Harden, Butler, Jokic, and Booker have some of these epic individual performances for a full game or two. I'm still confident we'll get a real TATUM game or two this postseason but I don't think it's crazy to be a little anxious after last year's Finals performance. The whole team sucked in the first half yesterday. That's when you need your #1 player to drag you to a win. It's incredible that he was inches away from doing so by only playing well in the second half, but yeah he was an absolute no-show for two quarters.
Joker had a turnover under a minute left last night when they had the ball with a chance to tie. Happens to everyone.
 

tims4wins

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And rest assured that somewhere out there, someone(s) on the Sons of Fat Lever message board is making proclamations that the Nuggets will never win a title with Jokic as their best player because he always comes up small in crunch time...
That may well be true. If JT scored 53 and ended the game the same way as last night we'd still be discussing him.
 

reggiecleveland

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Let's just enjoy this all-star without the ridiculous assertion he is Bird. It is unfair to both guys. We do it in baseball. Tanner Houk had three dominant innings the other day, and even in the gamethread nobody compared him to Pedro or even Josh Beckett. We have a left-hand hitting left fielder that has been hitting .400 for almost 20 games. Not once have we wondered if he is 1988 Greewell or Yaz, let alone Ted. Granted BBTL compares Mack to TB12, but TB12 is still playing (he's coming back with the Roughriders I just know it) ...still unfair. Manny Ramirez was a better, more consent hitter than Jim Rice (I said it) but even then it was discussed on SOSH in measured tones.

If you really think Tatum is in any way close to the same level as Bird...then contact me about a timeshare opportunity. I would take bad back laying on his stomach Larry over current Tatum for a playoff series in a heartbeat. Larry at the age Tatum is now, was closer to being the best player of all time than Tatum is to being the best current player. Larry kicked Chuck Person's ass in the 90s. With 1990 Larry this series is over. Again that Tatum is not one of the top 2 or 3 playoff performers of all time is no knock on the guy.

This type of discussion is not helpful. We didn't say if only Macavoy was like Borque or Orr...or how close he was to Orr, etc. I read a smart analysis of Sale, that logically explained it was unfair to compare him to his former self.
 

reggiecleveland

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Anyway, Tatum is a great all-around player. He can do everything at both ends pretty well, and can really score. I have always thought Tatum's need to be the man to be like Kobe, has hurt his game and the Cs. Yesterday he turned the game around on D and made some huge shots. The Cs score by committee and when they get it going with Brogden, White, Al, and the Js they are putting 125+ on anybody. So as frustrating as it is to see Smart take the last two shots, they are a team offense and they find the open guy. That is who they are. Tatum, as the best all-around player has a difficult job needing to fill in what is needed each game, and in the last two games, despite shooting troubles, he has done that.
 

Devizier

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I don’t know what Tatum’s comparison is, I think he gets compared to Bird because of his size and the fact that he is better than Pierce. When you get at that level of play there really aren’t good comps.

Also, I’m in agreement with @reggiecleveland in liking his reads on those last plays. The bad version of Tatum goes Kobe-light there and probably doinks those baskets.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Anyway, Tatum is a great all-around player. He can do everything at both ends pretty well, and can really score. I have always thought Tatum's need to be the man to be like Kobe, has hurt his game and the Cs. Yesterday he turned the game around on D and made some huge shots. The Cs score by committee and when they get it going with Brogden, White, Al, and the Js they are putting 125+ on anybody. So as frustrating as it is to see Smart take the last two shots, they are a team offense and they find the open guy. That is who they are. Tatum, as the best all-around player has a difficult job needing to fill in what is needed each game, and in the last two games, despite shooting troubles, he has done that.
I think he has both a need to be the man in the way you suggest, but also some indecisiveness in key moments when he is trying to be. In a situation like Sunday, at the very minimum he needs to create a shot, which he failed to do.

I'd like the Celtics offense to have more plays designed to get Tatum the ball where he can score and less Tatum pounding the rock for 10 seconds and then trying to create for himself. I don't mean that Tatum (or Brown for that matter) should never start the offense, but just a little shift from the current balance towards them working off ball would be helpful.
I don’t know what Tatum’s comparison is, I think he gets compared to Bird because of his size and the fact that he is better than Pierce. When you get at that level of play there really aren’t good comps.
Put slight differently, he is, at worst, the best Celtic since Bird's arrival. Pierce is the only other name in the conversation, and it is a legit point in Pierce's favor that he won a championship. But he won it in his 10th year, at age 30, after Ainge added 2 HoFers to the roster, while Tatum is 25, in his 6th year, and doesn't have Garnett and Allen (or McHale and Parish for that matter).
 

bigq

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I have been a Tatum fanboy since day 1.

It’s hard to still be on the wagon. He simply is not The Man.
i think you made him mad. Hope he continues to drive to the bucket continuously in the 2nd half.
 

tims4wins

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I’m pretty sure you’re a Duke grad? Were you a fan of his game in college?
Correct. Yes. I loved him coming out. I thought he would be the best pro that K has ever produced. I still think he is. But I’m not sure he has enough alpha.
 

Euclis20

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For better or worse, he's more likely to go 3-19 than he is 2-9 in a game that matters. He had double digit FTAs in 31/74 regular season games, and has hit that mark just once in his first 10 playoff games. Already at 9 at halftime so far. I'm reasonably confident that if we lose, it won't because of a lack of aggression on his part.
 

Auger34

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Correct. Yes. I loved him coming out. I thought he would be the best pro that K has ever produced. I still think he is. But I’m not sure he has enough alpha.
Interesting. I am not a Duke grad but my whole family went there (literally Mom, Dad, sister, aunt, uncle)…and I have to confess that I wasn’t a fan at all.

I haven’t lost faith in him. I think him and Brown can go nuclear. (Or maybe I am just praying that happens)
 

jezza1918

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I have been a Tatum fanboy since day 1.

It’s hard to still be on the wagon. He simply is not The Man.
He is not the man. Now. If you think he has no chance of becoming the man in the future I object. In fact I strenuously object!

edit: just to add, I guess it’s the predictive type talk about players this good that frustrates me. I mean, I get why it happens no doubt. But these same convos were had about lebron (remember his last year with Cleveland when he kind of quit on them against Boston; or his finals series vs Dallas his first year in Miami)…and most of todays superstars that have won titles. Everyone is scared their guy isn’t the man…until he is. I’m fine saying Tatum isn’t the man now. But I’ll reiterate when I look at the combo of his individual track record combined with already leading his team to a finals I’d bet on him one day becoming the man than him turning into another James harden or Chris Paul type
 
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mikeford

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No superstar who went to Duke has ever been the man on a title team. Zero. You cannot find one example because it does not exist.

Tatum will never be the best player on a title team.
 

Euclis20

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No superstar who went to Duke has ever been the man on a title team. Zero. You cannot find one example because it does not exist.

Tatum will never be the best player on a title team.
Not that I love getting into what defines a superstar, but Grant Hill is the only Duke player in the NBA hall of fame. Tatum is already the second best Duke player of all time, regarding NBA performance. Not exactly a long history of superstars underachieving when it counts, more like the school's reputation for producing NBA greatness is simply way overstated.
 

timelysarcasm

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No superstar who went to Duke has ever been the man on a title team. Zero. You cannot find one example because it does not exist.

Tatum will never be the best player on a title team.
What is the larger point about Duke you're trying to make here?

Seems weird to give any bit of a rat's ass what college a player went to, but I'll listen to what you're argument is with interest.

In other news, Tatum's shooting to start games has been absolutely woeful. That G6 virtuoso in Milwaukee seems like another life ago - I'll be curious to see how he comes out in G6. If he doesn't find his stroke, the season will be over.
 

Bergs

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Put slight differently, he is, at worst, the best Celtic since Bird's arrival.
If tenure/longevity is out of consideration, KG is my #1 since Bird.

Edit: I just don't think JT is wired like the greats, who have all been compete psychos (except for LeBron). That is probably good for his long-term mental health (see Barkley, Charles), but it doesn't get me all fired up for the Celtics chances in the near future. Every "great" I've ever seen errs on the side of hero ball...they NEED to have the rock. They are angry. They have a chip on their shoulder. Deep down, they hate everyone and everything except winning. I see the exact opposite from Tatum.

Again, I really do hope I'm wrong here.
 
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TrapperAB

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View: https://twitter.com/jaredweissnba/status/1656133000977948677?s=46&t=Yv-0viabFQl7Lk7DrSRbBA


I really, really don’t like this quote. I hope he comes out and crushes and proves that post game quotes mean nothing….and that I am an idiot for even caring one iota about this….but goddamn this is not what I wanted to read
I'm with you. That's a shitty fucking quote. I understand that fandom is highly subjective, but I prefer when the stars of my favorite team hate losing, hate being embarrassed on their home court, hate when they put their team into a hole.

In my own life, I embrace balance. I meditate. I do yoga. I understand the benefits of relaxing and letting go and getting out of your own way.

But in the immediate aftermath of a trouncing on my home court by a long-standing rival led by an MVP, something you claim to want to be someday? ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE PISSED, KID.
 

Auger34

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I'm with you. That's a shitty fucking quote. I understand that fandom is highly subjective, but I prefer when the stars of my favorite team hate losing, hate being embarrassed on their home court, hate when they put their team into a hole.

In my own life, I embrace balance. I meditate. I do yoga. I understand the benefits of relaxing and letting go and getting out of your own way.

But in the immediate aftermath of a trouncing on my home court by a long-standing rival led by an MVP, something you claim to want to be someday? ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE PISSED, KID.
I just don’t think any of what happened tonight was because they weren’t loose enough. I mean, I think an argument could be made that they were too loose and too lackadaisical.

Mazzulla mentioned something similar so I am probably wrong. I just would prefer the mindset to be “we are pissed and we are going to go out and take the next game” (similar to what Smart said). “We need to be more loose!” Just really doesn’t have much of a ring to it after you just got stomped on