Jayson Tatum's Rise to the Top

Spelunker

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I'm- as of yesterday- 47 years old. I feel pretty good saying that Tatum is the 2nd best Celtic of my lifetime.

He's a better player than Pierce, and that really just leaves Larry.
 

luckiestman

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I'm- as of yesterday- 47 years old. I feel pretty good saying that Tatum is the 2nd best Celtic of my lifetime.

He's a better player than Pierce, and that really just leaves Larry.

Happy Birthday! What about Kevin Gamble?
 

luckiestman

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riboflav

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It pains me to have to go into detail tonight about how all-time great Tatum was in this closeout game. Like I feel it should be obvious to anyone who watched. But, alas. I'll do it if it's necessary but generally this forum gets it.

Feel great for the guy. 7 years since he was drafted and many of us knew at the time, he was the game changer from the get go. No one can take this away from him.
 

reggiecleveland

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He, White and Jrue in this era of ballscreens and spread, and the need to make quick decisions on who to close out and, are comparable to McHale, Walton, Bird in the power era as defenders. Teams have to work so hard to get good shots.

Tatum is right there with Jokic for best all around player.
 

Mooch

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Not a lot of guys who have 3x first team all NBAs with a ring by age 26. Rare air.
 

Brand Name

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Not a lot of guys who have 3x first team all NBAs with a ring by age 26. Rare air.
Basketball Reference categorizes this as Tatum's age 25 season, based on his age when the season started.

From there, he's only the 7th to do so, though I got a little lazy and decided only to count the former as being awarded All-NBA First Team, rather than including BAA and/or ABA. He joins:

-Pettit
-Kareem
-Magic
-Bird
-Duncan
-Kobe
 

BaseballJones

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A lot of players say they truly only care about winning, very few have backed it up like Tatum has this season.
This actually should be a lesson for all other superstars moving forward. It's about T-E-A-M, not about the individual superstar. If your top goal is to be a star and make money, by all means, chase your stats. If your top goal is to win it all, do whatever it takes to win, even if it means elevating your teammates and reducing your own statistical profile. That's what Tatum did. That's why he's a champion now.
 

Justthetippett

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This actually should be a lesson for all other superstars moving forward. It's about T-E-A-M, not about the individual superstar. If your top goal is to be a star and make money, by all means, chase your stats. If your top goal is to win it all, do whatever it takes to win, even if it means elevating your teammates and reducing your own statistical profile. That's what Tatum did. That's why he's a champion now.
This is why I'm really not worried about the 6ers. Embiid, George (?)... they will never be able to do this. Embiid referring to himself as the MVP in the pregame and mentioning the CBA as the reason the Cs won't be a dynasty tells you all you need to know.

Tatum is going to be awesome to watch these next 8+ years. We're lucky.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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It sure if this is the place for it, but “what if”…the Lakers draft JB and JT? Does LeBron still come (duh) and does he still force a trade for AD? There’s an alternate world where the Lakers may have won a couple more titles.
 

BaseballJones

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I don't know how to break it to you, but Russell didn't play in a 47 year old's life time.


I'm only 40, and I'm routinely blown away how old shit that feels contemporary to me, is. Bill Russell's career being one of them.
Oh I missed the “in my lifetime” part of it. My bad.
 

lovegtm

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That was about as good a playoff run as you can have in terms of "how elite can you be while shooting like crap?"

Reminds me of LeBron when he shot 39% in the 2015 Finals and was amazing.
 

Kliq

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He played a lot like prime LeBron during the playoffs. His playmaking was tremendous and very LeBron-like in bending the defense and making quick decisions to move the ball, and his versatile defense was arguably better than any defense LeBron played over a consistent period of time in the playoffs.

Also he could not BUY a foul last night despite the Mavs' routine hammering of him as he went to the basket. Just a magnificent performance on both ends.
 

Jimbodandy

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That was about as good a playoff run as you can have in terms of "how elite can you be while shooting like crap?"

Reminds me of LeBron when he shot 39% in the 2015 Finals and was amazing.
Yeah. No problem with folks giving the MVP to JB, but JT is the guy who makes everything happen. You just can't cover him with one man, and he makes great decisions. The shot quality that he creates for everyone is magical. And the fact that he can switch 1-5 is so underrated as to be laughable. He was credibly covering everyone on the court in this series, from Kyrie to Gafford. We're watching greatness.
 

TomRicardo

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That was about as good a playoff run as you can have in terms of "how elite can you be while shooting like crap?"

Reminds me of LeBron when he shot 39% in the 2015 Finals and was amazing.
Well he did have better 3% than Luka.
 

Jimbodandy

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He played a lot like prime LeBron during the playoffs. His playmaking was tremendous and very LeBron-like in bending the defense and making quick decisions to move the ball, and his versatile defense was arguably better than any defense LeBron played over a consistent period of time in the playoffs.

Also he could not BUY a foul last night despite the Mavs' routine hammering of him as he went to the basket. Just a magnificent performance on both ends.
Great post.

Lebron wasn't a bad comp for what he was doing. Bird was similar when they threw people at him too.

Regarding the fouls, it's remarkable how far this team has come with accepting the physical contact and playing right through it. Especially Tatum. He has accepted that he's not going to get the whistles that other stars get, so he's just going to keep attacking the rim like a maniac and finishing through traffic, fouls be damned. Great toughness and discipline.
 

PedroKsBambino

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This is why I'm really not worried about the 6ers. Embiid, George (?)... they will never be able to do this. Embiid referring to himself as the MVP in the pregame and mentioning the CBA as the reason the Cs won't be a dynasty tells you all you need to know.

Tatum is going to be awesome to watch these next 8+ years. We're lucky.
Tatum has played in 113 more regular season games than Embiid since Tatum's rookie year. That's about 16 a season, not counting playoffs (or the two full seasons Embiid also missed earlier in his career). Joel also plays a bit more than 2 MPG less per game, which isn't massive but in aggregate across 400 games is another 25 games total. And that's not even counting playoffs.

Joel may be the best per-minute-when-healthy guy in the league, but until and unless he can be counted on to play 65 or so games a year he simply isn't in Jayson Tatum's class as an overall impact player. You can't contribute to winning from the bench, or from the halftime show. Embiid had two sort-of-healthy years before this one, and maybe next year will be another---but people consistently underply availabilty as a factor when talking about the top guys in the league.
 

Fishercat

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Tatum has played in 113 more regular season games than Embiid since Tatum's rookie year. That's about 16 a season, not counting playoffs (or the two full seasons Embiid also missed earlier in his career). Joel also plays a bit more than 2 MPG less per game, which isn't massive but in aggregate across 400 games is another 25 games total. And that's not even counting playoffs.

Joel may be the best per-minute-when-healthy guy in the league, but until and unless he can be counted on to play 65 or so games a year he simply isn't in Jayson Tatum's class as an overall impact player. You can't contribute to winning from the bench, or from the halftime show. Embiid had two sort-of-healthy years before this one, and maybe next year will be another---but people consistently underply availabilty as a factor when talking about the top guys in the league.
+1 to that.

Ultimately, the Celtics had "the easiest road" in many people's minds because players that were generally ranked above the Jaylen Browns and Jrue Holidays and Derrick White's of the world were injured and out while those three were playing substantial minutes. At some point, I would think the tide would turn in these player rankings and adulation on the fact that certain guys not being able to be healthy have actively doomed their teams. Joel Embiid is a freak, Joel Embiid has also never played 70 regular season games. Ever. Jayson Tatum has never played less than 66 games in a full NBA season before (excluding post season). Tatum has played about 3700 more minutes in his career - being drafted three seasons later - than Embiid has.

This isn't to blame Philly for building around him at all - teams don't get to pick and choose their stars and if he's healthy he's probably one of a handful of players good enough to be the best player on a championship winning team. It's just mindboggling as a fan of primarily other sports to see NBA fans consistently dismiss availability in their player quality rankings and discussion. Kawhi's a monster, Kawhi hasn't played over 70 games in a season since Jayson Tatum was in college. Anthony Davis had played over sixty games in a season twice since he got to LA - over 65 once. Zion Williamson was five spots above Jaylen Brown on The Ringer's rankings who has played 24, 61, 0, 29, and 70 games in his five seasons (and his conditioning is poor). This year is the first time since he was in OKC that Paul George played more than 56 games in a year. I also don't think it's necessarily a coincidence that these teams who rely on oft-injured or oft-DNPed stars never really seem to get beyond the sum of their parts, you also lose practice time, you lose those games to build chemistry and set expectations.

The Celtics were very lucky this year health wise, but I certainly don't think it was an accident they targeted key guys who were generally available players (minus Porzingis...but having one of your key 5-7 guys be that is so different than your #1).
 

Eddie Jurak

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I thought he should have been the finals MVP, although it is hard to fault a vote for Brown because his series was also great.

But today, in addition to Tatum putting up numbers across the board, was a reminder of how the Celtics are so built around Tatum, and Brown and othersd can do what they do in large part because of Tatum.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The Celtics were very lucky this year health wise, but I certainly don't think it was an accident they targeted key guys who were generally available players (minus Porzingis...but having one of your key 5-7 guys be that is so different than your #1).
In addition, having Jrue basically healthy for the entire season + playoffs is a huge upgrade in terms of availability and health.
 

NomarsFool

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Unfortunately, the reason Tatum wasn't the finals MVP is because he didn't score enough points (although one could also argue it was because of some poor shooting games). My only fear is that subconcsiously he thinks he needs to dominate the game more to get those individual accomplishments. He seems like a very unselfish player, but I'm sure he was hoping his performance last night would get him the award (who wouldn't be hoping for that?).
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Unfortunately, the reason Tatum wasn't the finals MVP is because he didn't score enough points (although one could also argue it was because of some poor shooting games). My only fear is that subconcsiously he thinks he needs to dominate the game more to get those individual accomplishments. He seems like a very unselfish player, but I'm sure he was hoping his performance last night would get him the award (who wouldn't be hoping for that?).
I think it was Bontemps who suggested (on Windhorst's post-game podcast with Lowe) that it could go the other way - now that JB and JT have won a chip, the pressure is off and they can play even more freely and not worry as much about statistics.

Hopefully they will understand that at the end of the day, they will be remembered for how many championships they win, not whether they scored a lot of points.

Whatever it takes, for as long as it takes.
 

luckiestman

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I think it was Bontemps who suggested (on Windhorst's post-game podcast with Lowe) that it could go the other way - now that JB and JT have won a chip, the pressure is off and they can play even more freely and not worry as much about statistics.
Time flies so who knows if I am remembering this right. Going into his first all star selection, Tatum was slumping but once he made it, he kind of unlocked again: I think he said he was pressing. I expect with this pressure off, we will get FULL TATUMS going forward.

Thinking about this makes me remember he won the skill comp at his first all star.

Remember when Ben Simmons and Mitchell were over him for ROY. Voting in sports, LMAO. Play the games where we can see who wins, ok, now have morons vote on what was good.
 
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Mooch

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According to Second Spectrum, Tatum recorded a 58.3% blow-by rate on drives in the Finals, the second highest by any player in a series in the past 10 years.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Time flies so who knows if I am remembering this right. Going into his first all start selection, Tatum was slumping but once he made it, he kind of unlocked again: I think he said he was pressing. I expect with this pressure off, we will get FULL TATUMS going forward.

Thinking about this mage me remember he won the skill comp at his first all star.

Remember when Ben Simmons and Mitchell were over him for ROY. Voting in sports, LMAO. Play the games where we can see who wins, ok, now have morons vote on what was good.
Good memory! He was on fire in February prior to the ASB and Lowe (among others) suggested he was pressing before being named to the All-Star team (see: Zach Lowe Suggests One Reason For Jayson Tatum's Recent Tear - NESN.com ).

Remember the all-NBA snub that cost him millions?

I think JT will continue to get better - and that must be scary for the rest of the league.
 

lars10

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Unfortunately, the reason Tatum wasn't the finals MVP is because he didn't score enough points (although one could also argue it was because of some poor shooting games). My only fear is that subconcsiously he thinks he needs to dominate the game more to get those individual accomplishments. He seems like a very unselfish player, but I'm sure he was hoping his performance last night would get him the award (who wouldn't be hoping for that?).
He led the team in points/rebounds/assists (in the playoffs).. he's the only player in NBA history to do that and not win MVP. BUT, Tatum has talked extensively about how he knows he could score 30+ points per game if he wanted to.. he's talked about how he's actively trying to balance scoring with the team he has. Tatum, like everyone else, has put himself second to the team ..everyone had to sacrifice to make it a better team. I imagine that now that he's seen it actually worked..why would he go backwards? Plus..he's always said that all he wants is a championship and nothing else matters. Now that they've won he also will probably get a bit more respect..as they all will.

edit: to be clear tho.. I have no problem with JB winning it... they were both great, but JB hit a ton of huge shots that sealed games.
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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According to Second Spectrum, Tatum recorded a 58.3% blow-by rate on drives in the Finals, the second highest by any player in a series in the past 10 years.
Helps when he is blowing by Luka (had highest blow-by rate of any player in the last 10 years in a playoff series).
 

Van Everyman

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It got lost given how dominating he was on the drive but Tatum passed up a bunch of open 3’s last night – especially in the second half. His first 3PA missed everything and was an air ball.

Tatum has always had shooting slumps and usually plays his way out of them, often announced with a monster 40-to-50 point game. That never happened this time.

Thinking back to earlier in the playoffs with him bending his wrist at the foul line between shots; I’m wondering if he was playing through an injury.
 

lars10

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It got lost given how dominating he was on the drive but Tatum passed up a bunch of open 3’s last night – especially in the second half. His first 3PA missed everything and was an air ball.

Tatum has always had shooting slumps and usually plays his way out of them, often announced with a monster 40-to-50 point game. That never happened this time.

Thinking back to earlier in the playoffs with him bending his wrist at the foul line between shots; I’m wondering if he was playing through an injury.
Just rewatching the highlights.. Tatum at the end of the game was peak Tatum.. a ton of confidence going to the rim with a ton of different moves. If we get that Tatum along with his assists next year.. the C's could be better.
 

lovegtm

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I thought he should have been the finals MVP, although it is hard to fault a vote for Brown because his series was also great.

But today, in addition to Tatum putting up numbers across the board, was a reminder of how the Celtics are so built around Tatum, and Brown and othersd can do what they do in large part because of Tatum.
Yes, everything they do in player acquisition strategy and offensive system is built around what Jayson Tatum lets them do.
 

CreightonGubanich

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It was such a joy just to watch Tatum make the right basketball play, over and over again. In years past, the team's undoing was that they couldn't create offense when defenses loaded up to stop Tatum. That was a function of both Tatum's playmaking ability as well as the players around him. Both those issues have been resoundingly dealt with.

Tatum's willingness to move the ball reminded me of one of my favorite LeBron moments. In 2017, when the Cavs were playing the Pacers in the playoffs, Indiana had a chance to take a 1-0 lead in the series. End of the game, down by one, they get the ball into Paul George, who is immediately doubled. He gives it up to CJ Miles, who takes the last-second shot and misses. After the game, George is sitting at the podium, complaining that he didn't get the last shot. "CJ took it upon himself, but that's gotta be me", I think he said. They asked LeBron about it, and his response was, "look, I can't speak for Paul, but if you send two guys at me, I'm giving the ball up every single time. We've got a 4-on-3 and I trust my teammates to make shots. And if they miss, I'll sleep just fine knowing that's the right basketball play."

It struck me then there here were two guys: one doing what he thought great players did - demand the ball, take the last shot, be the man - and one who was already a great player and didn't have to prove anything to anybody. Tatum's always been unselfish, but the lengths that he took that to especially in these playoffs, sticking with it even as the outside criticism mounted, shows unbelievable maturity and growth.