Jayson Tatum's Rise to the Top

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts way less than 18% useful shit
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2010
14,608
This sport is much more fun if you find enjoyment in it. My god man. Celtics haven't lost in a month and you're just full of negativity.
Relax. It was a joke. The poster said, "they won and that's all you remember." I just happened to remember Bird didn't get finals MVP because the voters were fucking dumb and used his low PPG as a reason to not give it to him. He was absolutely the best player in the series.
 
Last edited:

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
32,611
I've been saying this since the Miami series: you can't really argue with the revealed preferences of top NBA coaches. They ALL think that Tatum is BY FAR the Celtics' most dangerous player.

This isn't even a me stanning Tatum thing: I love JB! But I have to be intellectually honest about what I see on the court.
Agreed - I understand the media narrative on Tatum, but the guys who actually get paid to win the games have been completely clear on Tatum being the critical guy to game-plan around all along. He's the straw that stirs the drink, and they know it...as do his teammates, clearly.

Like you, I love how JB has played and there are times I think he has surpassed Tatum in specific elements of offense (mid-range, strong finishes at hoop where his athleticism shines). And he is also getting the second-best wing defender AND a defense shaded to JT pretty often, for a good reason.

I know Tatum isn't everyone's picture of a "number one on a top team" but his play has been very good to great pretty much every game.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,506
I also remember he didn't win MVP for that series *ducks*
Same story as the 2015 Finals: Cleveland trapped Steph a ton, so Iguodala stole the MVP.

Voters and fans have a really really hard time processing offensive value beyond "who put the ball in the bucket at the end."
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,506
....
How many of Jrue's points last night were off Tatum assists?
He made 11 shots, and 6 were off Tatum assists. A few of the others were in transition.

Basically everything he did in the halfcourt was directly from Tatum, not even hockey assists or gravity.

"Jrue was better than Tatum offensively" is loltown.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
38,887
Hingham, MA
I think their team roles and styles are similar but Duncan never took this much shit from media types, either locally or nationally, which is why the Tatum stuff reminds me more of Robinson.

I think that the Duncan blueprint is perfect for Tatum and he’s basically the modern wing version of Duncan at this point. Simply does it all.
I’m gonna guess part of the reason is we didn’t see Duncan consistently shoot under 40% in the Finals.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,506
I’m gonna guess part of the reason is we didn’t see Duncan consistently shoot under 40% in the Finals.
Very different position and offensive role.

(Fwiw, I think this Finals and the GSW one have been worlds different for Tatum, even though the FG% is bad in both cases. I thought he was plain bad against the Dubs.)
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
31,922
Relax. It was a joke. The poster said, "they won and that's all you remember." I just happened to remember Bird didn't get finals MVP because the voters were fucking dumb and used his low PPG as a reason to not give it to him. He was absolutely the best player in the series.
Ahh, but Cedric Maxwell has made a career out of that Finals MVP (no judgement here; I loved Cornbread as a player) so there's that.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
38,887
Hingham, MA
Very different position and offensive role.

(Fwiw, I think this Finals and the GSW one have been worlds different for Tatum, even though the FG% is bad in both cases. I thought he was plain bad against the Dubs.)
I understand this. You understand this. Everyone focusing on 6-22 does not.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 26, 2005
31,922
(Fwiw, I think this Finals and the GSW one have been worlds different for Tatum, even though the FG% is bad in both cases. I thought he was plain bad against the Dubs.)
It's kind of been the same. Except instead of passing the ball to Marcus Smart and a tired Al Horford, he can throw the ball to Jrue Freaking Holiday and KP.

Yes JT is better than he was two years ago. But this team is so much better, it's kind of unfair to everybody to compare them.

(Also, not only is Jrue just a better shooter than Marcus - and a better defender - his cutting opens up the floor in a way Marcus never could.)
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,506
It's kind of been the same. Except instead of passing the ball to Marcus Smart and a tired Al Horford, he can throw the ball to Jrue Freaking Holiday and KP.

Yes JT is better than he was two years ago. But this team is so much better, it's kind of unfair to everybody to compare them.

(Also, not only is Jrue just a better shooter than Marcus - and a better defender - his cutting opens up the floor in a way Marcus never could.)
I thought in 2022 he made a lot more bad decisions as to how to react in traffic and to late help. Having better teammates helps a lot, but Tatum is making way better decisions and is way more under control. It's cumulative.
 

TomRicardo

rusty cohlebone
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 6, 2006
21,289
Row 14
I’m gonna guess part of the reason is we didn’t see Duncan consistently shoot under 40% in the Finals.
Well to be fair if teams sold out on Duncan the way the Mavs have with Tatum, Ginobilli and Parker would have 70% eFG and Duncan would have averaged about 7 assists more a game.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
38,887
Hingham, MA
Well to be fair if teams sold out on Duncan the way the Mavs have with Tatum, Ginobilli and Parker would have 70% eFG and Duncan would have averaged about 7 assists more a game.
Fully agree. But that takes nuance. National media and fans don’t do nuance.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
18,726
I thought in 2022 he made a lot more bad decisions as to how to react in traffic and to late help. Having better teammates helps a lot, but Tatum is making way better decisions and is way more under control. It's cumulative.
Wiggins really bothered Tatum that series. Nothing like that happening here.
 

lars10

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
12,604
It's kind of been the same. Except instead of passing the ball to Marcus Smart and a tired Al Horford, he can throw the ball to Jrue Freaking Holiday and KP.

Yes JT is better than he was two years ago. But this team is so much better, it's kind of unfair to everybody to compare them.

(Also, not only is Jrue just a better shooter than Marcus - and a better defender - his cutting opens up the floor in a way Marcus never could.)
He plays off the ball where Marcus wanted the ball and to be in the middle of it all. Jrue is the type of player, if you’re defending him, that you have to keep checking to see where he is.. always on your back shoulder, cutting when you’re not looking, moving without the ball to be open of the guy with the ball gets in trouble.. Best kind of teammate to have.

As he said last night, “it’s their team.. I know I could say it’s my team as well, but those two face a different type of pressure.. I know I face some pressure as well, but those two make what I do easier” (or something to that effect).
 

lars10

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
12,604
I thought in 2022 he made a lot more bad decisions as to how to react in traffic and to late help. Having better teammates helps a lot, but Tatum is making way better decisions and is way more under control. It's cumulative.
I think JB and JT are a lot stronger on the ball now as well. They’re not as loose with if and they’re much more of a physical presence with their defenders.. JB said it the other night.. we’re not the same as we were two years ago..
 

Pilgrim

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 24, 2006
2,420
Jamaica Plain
The problem is, his low point totals aren’t just because he’s too busy playmaking. He didn’t reclass himself into a completely different player like a D&D character. He took 7 more shots than anyone else last night, he’s just bricking everything.

It’s great that his all around game has gotten so good that people can say he is playing well no matter what, I guess. Yes his defense, passing and rebounding have been good. Up until the GS final, he used to be able to do all that and drop an efficient 40.

This team is wildly stacked, and they are probably going to win no matter what. Tatum knows he is cold, and is doing what he needs to win. I love that about him, not every superstar would do that. But this has been going on a while and it’s a bit weird.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
18,726
The problem is, his low point totals aren’t just because he’s too busy playmaking. He didn’t reclass himself into a completely different player like a D&D character. He took 7 more shots than anyone else last night, he’s just bricking everything.

It’s great that his all around game has gotten so good that people can say he is playing well no matter what, I guess. Yes his defense, passing and rebounding have been good. Up until the GS final, he used to be able to do all that and drop an efficient 40.

This team is wildly stacked, and they are probably going to win no matter what. Tatum knows he is cold, and is doing what he needs to win. I love that about him, not every superstar would do that. But this has been going on a while and it’s a bit weird.
Tatum's shooting was very uneven throughout most of the 2021-22 season, and overall it was one season where he shot the 3 pointer much better in the playoffs (39%) than during the regular season (35%).

This season he shot nearly his exact career average during the regular season: 37.56%. However, he is currently hitting 3's at sub-30 clip this playoff run (29%), by far his career worst. We do seem to keep waiting for that game where he just drains a series of 3's, but hasn't happened yet.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
47,855
Tatum's shooting was very uneven throughout most of the 2021-22 season, and overall it was one season where he shot the 3 pointer much better in the playoffs (39%) than during the regular season (35%).

This season he shot nearly his exact career average during the regular season: 37.56%. However, he is currently hitting 3's at sub-30 clip this playoff run (29%), by far his career worst. We do seem to keep waiting for that game where he just drains a series of 3's, but hasn't happened yet.
He was also around 32% in the last playoff run as well so that’s the equivalent of 30% or so for a half season, which we’d absolutely notice during the regular season. No idea why but the sample size is getting pretty large at this point. Obviously, I don’t really care as long as they finish the job and I’m sure he feels the same way. But a good shooting night would make taking a game in Dallas that much easier.
 

jezza1918

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,983
South Dartmouth, MA
He was also around 32% in the last playoff run as well so that’s the equivalent of 30% or so for a half season, which we’d absolutely notice during the regular season. No idea why but the sample size is getting pretty large at this point. Obviously, I don’t really care as long as they finish the job and I’m sure he feels the same way. But a good shooting night would make taking a game in Dallas that much easier.
From a strategy standpoint I have to imagine he has to take some of the contested layups where the D collapses on him, otherwise he really does turn into Ben Simmons and teams would stop collapsing on him as hard and not leave other guys as open. I think that explains SOME of his shooting woes, although clearly a good chunk of those woes rests squarely on his own shoulders. And as frustrating as his shooting is, and while I know basic counting stats are...well, basic...there's something to be said for a guy leading his team in points/rebounds/assists (while maintaining a good ast/to ratio) during the course of a 14-2 playoff run.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,506
From a strategy standpoint I have to imagine he has to take some of the contested layups where the D collapses on him, otherwise he really does turn into Ben Simmons and teams would stop collapsing on him as hard and not leave other guys as open. I think that explains SOME of his shooting woes, although clearly a good chunk of those woes rests squarely on his own shoulders. And as frustrating as his shooting is, and while I know basic counting stats are...well, basic...there's something to be said for a guy leading his team in points/rebounds/assists (while maintaining a good ast/to ratio) during the course of a 14-2 playoff run.
Yeah, I think there's a game theoretic aspect to his iso 3s and tough layup attempts, where those force teams to hug up on him and give rim help, respectively.

Without those 2 things, a lot of what he opens up would go away.
 

jezza1918

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,983
South Dartmouth, MA
Yeah, I think there's a game theoretic aspect to his iso 3s and tough layup attempts, where those force teams to hug up on him and give rim help, respectively.

Without those 2 things, a lot of what he opens up would go away.
There were a handful of possessions last night where his decision making annoyed the crap out of me (a turnaround 20 footer with like 17 sec left on shot clock, a couple of wide open 3s passed up), but for most part I think his decision making has been pretty sublime. Does he need to shoot better for the team to win? Clearly not. Does he need to shoot better to change the narrative about his status? Probably. I just dgaf.
 

jezza1918

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,983
South Dartmouth, MA
Stat wise here is what Im seeing on NBA.com.
In regular season Tatum did the following:
9.1 drives per game, shot 2.8/5.0 on those drives, scored 7.9 points per game on drives for a 86.4 points/drive percentage (free throws that result gets factored in too). That point percentage was best on team by the way for anyone who drives with regularity. He also passed out of those drives 25% of the time.
In playoffs so far:
12.9 drives per game, shooting 2.6/5.6 on drives, scoring 8.5 points per game on drives for a 66% points/drive percentage. And passing out of them 35% of the time. So driving way more, but not shooting way more...which because of the way he's defended on those drives feels like the right call. I wonder from a strategy standpoint if Joe Mazz thinks he's taking the right amount of shots, or too many/too few.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
13,506
.... I wonder from a strategy standpoint if Joe Mazz thinks he's taking the right amount of shots, or too many/too few.
Based on their offensive philosophy, Joe probably doesn't love his tough, contested layup attempts. Those lead to high-value transition (as we saw when DJJ blocked him and that led to the PJ runout that nearly was a dunk).

The iso 3s are fine, they keep guys hugged up on him, and 1-7 or whatever is an anomaly. The midrangers have been mostly eliminated, and arguably he should prefer them over tough layups when the clock is low. Reason being that if you drive with 4 seconds on the clock, there isn't much time if you pass out of the layup attempt.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
8,823
Imaginationland
When this was posted, I figured it was a foregone conclusion that Tatum would be the points leader on this list by the time the finals were over, now I'm not so sure.
Yeah at this point if it's a sweep, he it's hard to see him passing Kobe, at least based on how the first two games went. He came into the series needing to average somewhere between 23.8 (in 4 games) and 13.6 (in 7 games). Now it's between 30.5 (in 2 games) and 12.2 (in 5 games).
 

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
He plays off the ball where Marcus wanted the ball and to be in the middle of it all. Jrue is the type of player, if you’re defending him, that you have to keep checking to see where he is.. always on your back shoulder, cutting when you’re not looking, moving without the ball to be open of the guy with the ball gets in trouble.. Best kind of teammate to have.

As he said last night, “it’s their team.. I know I could say it’s my team as well, but those two face a different type of pressure.. I know I face some pressure as well, but those two make what I do easier” (or something to that effect).
So well said. There was one time last night where JT drove and seemed to get caught underneath with nowhere to go. Suddenly Jrue came cutting down the lane into the one open slot afforded to JT who dished it thru for an easy bucket. JT gets the assist but that was likely a turnover without Jrue’s perfect cut.
 

snowmanny

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
16,137
Also was 15-39 with 9 turnovers (though a bunch of rebounds,assists, free throws) in games 1&2 of 1984 finals. He got better.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
8,823
Imaginationland
I think we'll see a lot more of this if Boston ends up winning (and Tatum stays on the same shooting efficiency path he's been on).....but man, what I wouldn't give for him to have a breakout game scoring. It doesn't even have to be reminiscent of his biggest games (last year against Philly, 2022 against Milwaukee, 2021 against Brooklyn), I'd happily take a repeat of game 3 vs Indy, just 18 days ago, when he went 36/10/8 with 0 turnovers on .647 TS. In addition to shutting up a lot of the criticism, it's likely to result in a 3-0 lead. If he has another truly inefficient game scoring, this time on the road and with KP limited, it's gonna be a much harder path to victory than in games 1 and 2.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
21,092
Santa Monica
I think we'll see a lot more of this if Boston ends up winning (and Tatum stays on the same shooting efficiency path he's been on).....but man, what I wouldn't give for him to have a breakout game scoring. It doesn't even have to be reminiscent of his biggest games (last year against Philly, 2022 against Milwaukee, 2021 against Brooklyn), I'd happily take a repeat of game 3 vs Indy, just 18 days ago, when he went 36/10/8 with 0 turnovers on .647 TS. In addition to shutting up a lot of the criticism, it's likely to result in a 3-0 lead. If he has another truly inefficient game scoring, this time on the road and with KP limited, it's gonna be a much harder path to victory than in games 1 and 2.
I keep thinking Tatum will break out with a big points night.

Drew Hanlen is running his PR campaign, noticed this on his X feed:

One of the many reasons the Celtics have had this historic season, is that after 6 years of struggling in the non-Tatum minutes, this year they were elite. Not so much in the playoffs though...
Tatum on the floor: (655 minutes): +166
Tatum off the floor: (118 minutes): +0
 

RorschachsMask

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2011
6,211
Lynn
I keep thinking Tatum will break out with a big points night.

Drew Hanlen is running his PR campaign, noticed this on his X feed:

One of the many reasons the Celtics have had this historic season, is that after 6 years of struggling in the non-Tatum minutes, this year they were elite. Not so much in the playoffs though...
Tatum on the floor: (655 minutes): +166
Tatum off the floor: (118 minutes): +0
That was courtesy of Grande, think Hanlen just RT’d.

View: https://twitter.com/SeanGrandePBP/status/1800772944932548839
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
18,726
That was courtesy of Grande, think Hanlen just RT’d.

View: https://twitter.com/SeanGrandePBP/status/1800772944932548839
One mitigating aspect of these on/off is that the Celtics had some big wins in the early rounds:

- Against Miami, Tatum spent most of the 4th quarter on the bench 3 of the 5 games as the Celtics had big leads. Miami outscored Boston in the 4th in 2 of them, and was -2 in the final game.

- Tatum did not play much in the 4th quarter in either of the first 2 games agains the Cavs (one a big win, the other a large loss).

- Tatum did not play the latter minutes of Game 2 against Indy, when the teams basically traded points. Same thing happened in Game 1 against Dallas.

That's 35 of those 116 minutes right there.
 

TomRicardo

rusty cohlebone
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 6, 2006
21,289
Row 14
Tatum saved that game on the broken play into a dunk. Why doesn't he do that more I don't know