Tatum or Ant?

Who would you rather build your team around?


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    232

pjheff

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I would argue that of course it is fair. The Celtics came up short in each of the past 2 years and Tatum's play was erratic and sometimes bad in key moments.
Is it also fair to perceive Tatum as someone young to be the best player on a championship team with signature playoff performances in Milwaukee and Philadelphia the last two postseasons that were interrupted by injuries?
 

lars10

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Is it also fair to perceive Tatum as someone young to be the best player on a championship team with signature playoff performances in Milwaukee and Philadelphia the last two postseasons that were interrupted by injuries?
probably better to be a player like GA who has won one but has also lost in the first round four times.
 

nighthob

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When you score as efficiently as Embiid did this year of course you want him hogging the ball. The dude was a goddamn beast this year when he was healthy. They were 31-8 with Embiid this year. A better winning percentage than the 1st place, best record in the league Boston Celtics
Until Boston sent out the reserves to play the last four games, they were 62-16, which would be the same winning percentage. And the Celtics did that without cherry-picking games.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Is it also fair to perceive Tatum as someone young to be the best player on a championship team with signature playoff performances in Milwaukee and Philadelphia the last two postseasons that were interrupted by injuries?
Depends. Are we talking about what he has actually done or potential upside? If he's 29 or 30 and hasn't won, I think you have to be thinking of him as more of a top sidekick on a winning team as opposed to being THE guy. At 26, you don't.

Embiid is 29. He seems clearly to be a better regular season player than Tatum has been (although Tatum still has room for improvement) but I think the lesson of the past several years is that the playoffs are different and not in a way that is kind to Mr. Embiid. Unlike with Tatum, I think it is nearly time to start asking whether Embiid can ever be THE guy on a champion.
 

lexrageorge

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Depends. Are we talking about what he has actually done or potential upside? If he's 29 or 30 and hasn't won, I think you have to be thinking of him as more of a top sidekick on a winning team as opposed to being THE guy. At 26, you don't.

Embiid is 29. He seems clearly to be a better regular season player than Tatum has been (although Tatum still has room for improvement) but I think the lesson of the past several years is that the playoffs are different and not in a way that is kind to Mr. Embiid. Unlike with Tatum, I think it is nearly time to start asking whether Embiid can ever be THE guy on a champion.
With Embiid, it's been the perfect storm of injuries and bad teams.

Injured the first 2 seasons and limited to 30 games his 3rd. Lost to a very good Celtics team in his 4th year, but things looked promising with Ben Simmons winning RoY. Despite the oft-cited chemistry issues with Jimmy Butler in his 5th season, they lost Game 7 by 2 to a possessed Kawhi and the eventual champion Raptors.

The 2020 76'er's had let Butler walk and really were nothing more than Embiid and a Simmons starting his decline and so were easy fodder to a deep and reasonably healthy Celtics team in the bubble. Embiid actually played quite well, but had nobody else that could score on that team. The following season was the Simmons/Doc fiasco against the Hawks, but Embiid's stats were equal to that of his regular season numbers.

The following season, Morey had emptied the well to get Harden, but Embiid was injured by the time their 2nd round matchup with the Heat started. Finally, last year they were 1 win from upsetting the Celtics in the conference semis, and it wasn't Embiid's fault that Harden lost the shooting variance battle the last 2 games (and Harden last year was useless when his shots weren't falling).

Embiid and Maxey are a formidable team when healthy, and I wouldn't normally count them out as being potential spoilers. Jimmy Butler had a similar reputation, until suddenly at the age of 30 he was playing in the Finals. It's just unlikely that Embiid will be healthy this playoff season.
 

Eddie Jurak

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With Embiid, it's been the perfect storm of injuries and bad teams.

Injured the first 2 seasons and limited to 30 games his 3rd. Lost to a very good Celtics team in his 4th year, but things looked promising with Ben Simmons winning RoY. Despite the oft-cited chemistry issues with Jimmy Butler in his 5th season, they lost Game 7 by 2 to a possessed Kawhi and the eventual champion Raptors.
I think injuries are smily par for the course with Embiid. It's true that a healthier Embiid would have greater updside than the current one, but that guy doesn't exist.

As to bad teams, yes. But. They have tried a few different ways to build around him and none of them have worked.

At some point it is on the player(s).

I wouldn't count the healthy Sixers out, assuming we ever see them, but I think that without a better Embiid sidekick than Harden they aren't a team a worry about. I worry more about Miami, TBH.
 

Auger34

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With Embiid, it's been the perfect storm of injuries and bad teams.

Injured the first 2 seasons and limited to 30 games his 3rd. Lost to a very good Celtics team in his 4th year, but things looked promising with Ben Simmons winning RoY. Despite the oft-cited chemistry issues with Jimmy Butler in his 5th season, they lost Game 7 by 2 to a possessed Kawhi and the eventual champion Raptors.

The 2020 76'er's had let Butler walk and really were nothing more than Embiid and a Simmons starting his decline and so were easy fodder to a deep and reasonably healthy Celtics team in the bubble. Embiid actually played quite well, but had nobody else that could score on that team. The following season was the Simmons/Doc fiasco against the Hawks, but Embiid's stats were equal to that of his regular season numbers.

The following season, Morey had emptied the well to get Harden, but Embiid was injured by the time their 2nd round matchup with the Heat started. Finally, last year they were 1 win from upsetting the Celtics in the conference semis, and it wasn't Embiid's fault that Harden lost the shooting variance battle the last 2 games (and Harden last year was useless when his shots weren't falling).

Embiid and Maxey are a formidable team when healthy, and I wouldn't normally count them out as being potential spoilers. Jimmy Butler had a similar reputation, until suddenly at the age of 30 he was playing in the Finals. It's just unlikely that Embiid will be healthy this playoff season.
Eh, that's a pretty charitable view of how Embiid performed against the Celtics.
He was hurt and didn't play Game 1 (which Harden won basically by himself)

In Games 2-7 he shot 42% from the field (never topping 50% once) and had by far his worst performance of the series in Game 7 when he went 5-18 from the field and got cooked repeatedly on switches by Jayson Tatum.

In the games they lost, Harden looked equally as bad but they both didn't show up when it mattered (and both looked like they'd rather be anywhere but on the court in that Game 7)
 

Kliq

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The Ant momentum is out of control and I kind of want the Nuggets to eat him alive (and I like Ant).
 

SteveF

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Feels a bit prisoner of the momenty. I don't think Tatum had a particularly good series against Miami (largely because of the decisionmaking/playmaking especially after g1), and Edwards was very good against Phoenix. The contexts are a bit different though and we're talking 4-5 games.
 

tims4wins

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Feels a bit prisoner of the momenty. I don't think Tatum had a particularly good series against Miami (largely because of the decisionmaking/playmaking especially after g1), and Edwards was very good against Phoenix. The contexts are a bit different though and we're talking 4-5 games.
The only way you can say he didn’t have a good series is if you didn’t watch the games.
 

Euclis20

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There are two very different questions being posed here:

-Who has the higher ceiling?
-Who is better right now?

I actually think both are fairly straightforward. I don't disagree that the chances of Tatum ever becoming the best player in the league are pretty darn low at this point (and that's fine, plenty of players won multiple titles without ever being the best player in the league), and given his age, attitude and physical abilities, Ant still has a realistic shot at that (at least until Wemby really comes of age). At the same time, I don't want to hear that Ant has performed better in the playoffs when we're comparing his 15 1st round games with Tatum's 99 playoff games (35 in R1, 31 in R2, 27 in the CF and 6 in the finals). Everyone knows that the playoffs get exponentially harder from round to round, comparing round 1 performance to conference finals and finals is only slightly more relevant than using preseason and summer league stats.

Anyone thinking that Ant is a better player than Tatum RIGHT NOW is a prisoner of the moment. It's also not remotely controversial to think Ant has a higher ceiling.
 

RorschachsMask

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I said it on here the other day, Ant is one of the very few players who I could see passing Tatum.

But in a heartbeat right now? Fuck off with that.
 

Euclis20

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I am willing to agree if they win this series. Impressive start.
He'll be exactly where Tatum was in 2022, coming off of a sweep of a KD super friends team followed by a huge series win against the consensus best player and defending champ (Giannis/Milwaukee). It's great that people are finally getting really excited about Ant, the crime here is dismissing Tatum as a guy who has plateaued and possibly missed his chance.
 

lexrageorge

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Feels a bit prisoner of the momenty. I don't think Tatum had a particularly good series against Miami (largely because of the decisionmaking/playmaking especially after g1), and Edwards was very good against Phoenix. The contexts are a bit different though and we're talking 4-5 games.
Yep, it’s all about the POINTZ when it comes to Tatum.
 

ifmanis5

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the moops

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POINTZ! is what led nitwits to go crazy for Milwaukee when they got Dame by shipping out Jrue.

How'd that work out?
I get it. Just seems to have run its course here, that’s all.

A Dame/Giannis duo is still more dangerous than a Jrue/Giannis regardless of how the season went.
 

lovegtm

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The whole POINTZ thing needs to die.

Also, Ant is incredible
As the person who coined points, I mostly agree with you wrt "Pointz" usage in this forum.

In the "sophisticated" NBA media, unfortunately, it's gotten worse than ever. Everything I see/read/hear is some variation of "wow, that guy really put up points!"

And, as we saw with Ant tonight....points are good! Minny had no chance without his shotmaking. I just really, really dislike that there are other incredibly important ways for stars to impact basketball on the offensive end, and I can't really consume good analysis on that, because the discourse has swung so pointzy/heliocentric.
 

riboflav

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I just don't see how you replace Tatum with Ant in the Miami series and see the exact same outcome or better. Someone more knowledgeable than me on the NBA will have break that down for me.

And, my lord, superstar is a term that is getting tossed around way too liberally these days.
 

benhogan

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I get it. Just seems to have run its course here, that’s all.

A Dame/Giannis duo is still more dangerous than a Jrue/Giannis regardless of how the season went.
Didn't we receive an 82-game and 1st-round playoff verdict on that one?

Milwaukee brought back the same team (Dame for Jrue). Giannis had a monster statistical season. Middleton came back better than anyone thought. Even at full strength, they weren't all that dangerous. They went from a 58-win team to 49 :eek:

As long as the NBA media & teams continue to overrate & overpay scorers (on lottery teams) who can't defend, POINTZ! will have its use.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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A Dame/Giannis duo is still more dangerous than a Jrue/Giannis regardless of how the season went.
I think I see your reasoning on this but a Giannis/Dame/Midfleton (where Middleton can average 20 ppg) is not as dangerous as Giannis/Midfleton/Jrue, particularly when KM has lost a step defensively. IMO.
 

lexrageorge

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The POINTZ comment was not directed at the Edwards vs Tatum comparison (which goes well beyond scoring), but the comment that Tatum somehow had a subpar series against Miami. Nobody doubts that points are valuable. However, team points scored and points allowed are also valuable metrics.
 

the moops

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I just don't see how you replace Tatum with Ant in the Miami series and see the exact same outcome or better
Why not? Boston thoroughly beat up Miami and honestly Tatum could have been replaced by a bunch of good wings and the result would have been pretty similar, never mind replacing him with Ant who has been incredible through the first round in the playoffs
 

Ed Hillel

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Why not? Boston thoroughly beat up Miami and honestly Tatum could have been replaced by a bunch of good wings and the result would have been pretty similar, never mind replacing him with Ant who has been incredible through the first round in the playoffs
Not many stars have the maturity Tatum has (this is confused with weakness by sports media), and Ant probably would have forced more into Spo’s defense. A younger Tatum would have, too.

Ant is big-time, though. Man, he’s saving that 2020 draft class, too. Him and Maxey. The rest of the top 10 is a joke.
 

Montana Fan

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Edwards is a fine young basketball player. Maybe the best under 25 player in the league. The MJ comparisons are completely over the top but hyperbole rules the news these days.

Me, I’ll take a Tatum to Tim Duncan comparison every day of the week. Being a top 5 player during your career while winning multiple championships might not be MJ level but I’m hopeful that’s Tatum’s path.

“Send da’ video” Edwards seems like a good guy but that’s still to be determined.
 

the moops

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Not many stars have the maturity Tatum has (this is confused with weakness by sports media), and Ant probably would have forced more into Spo’s defense. A younger Tatum would have, too.

Ant is big-time, though. Man, he’s saving that 2020 draft class, too. Him and Maxey. The rest of the top 10 is a joke.
Miami was so completely overmatched that I find it kinda ludicrous that replacing Tataum with Ant would have sunk Boston's chances because of maturity
 

Ed Hillel

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Miami was so completely overmatched that I find it kinda ludicrous that replacing Tataum with Ant would have sunk Boston's chances because of maturity
He never said their chances would have been “sunk.” He said they wouldn’t have won as quickly and/or by as much.
 

lars10

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Miami was so completely overmatched that I find it kinda ludicrous that replacing Tataum with Ant would have sunk Boston's chances because of maturity
Why must you always take a point made and then interpret it in the most negative way possible.. you do this all.the.time. It’s clearly not what he meant.
 

the moops

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Why must you always take a point made and then interpret it in the most negative way possible.. you do this all.the.time. It’s clearly not what he meant.
Because everyone here seems to be getting all defensive in the fact that maybe Ant is as good as Tatum and they start pointing to his somewhat subpar performance in the Heat series as a sign of his "maturity"
 

Marbleheader

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Can we appreciate excellence without having to rank everything? They're both incredible players that are fun to watch.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Ant is big-time, though. Man, he’s saving that 2020 draft class, too. Him and Maxey. The rest of the top 10 is a joke.
Him, Maxey, Haliburton, and Bane. Throw in Vassell, Toppin, LaMelo, Avdija, Nesmith, Quickley, Pritchard and I think it’s a pretty decent draft overall (though yeah, Ant makes it).
 
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radsoxfan

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I think the Ant upside talk is legit, he's not even 23.

Who knows where is at when he is 26-27 or so, his athleticism is clearly well above Tatum.

Is he the the next MJ/Kobe.... I suppose it's on the table for him more than for anyone else in the league right now, though I agree the Ant helium has gone a bit overboard. Tattum still clearly has some advantages over him in certain areas.
 

lovegtm

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Miami was so completely overmatched that I find it kinda ludicrous that replacing Tataum with Ant would have sunk Boston's chances because of maturity
Boston would have won, absent a mental collapse. Because Ant is really good and Miami was really bad.

However, I think Ant is not at nearly Tatum's current level in terms of manipulating what Spo was trying to do. He probably would have done the younger Tatum-against-Miami thing where you drive a lot into what looks like single coverage, get help, and then put up a bad shot, turn it over, or reset out further.

In terms of revealed preferences, by the end of the series, the best coach in the NBA had to just glue Bam to Tatum and take Bam completely out of the play, because he was out of other ideas. That is definitely not Erik Spoelstra's first choice idea on defense.
 

benhogan

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I think I see your reasoning on this but a Giannis/Dame/Midfleton (where Middleton can average 20 ppg) is not as dangerous as Giannis/Midfleton/Jrue, particularly when KM has lost a step defensively. IMO.
Forget about the BUCKS Defensive Rtg going from 4th (111.9) in the NBA to 19th (115.8) in one season.

If the NBA media just took a moment to stop slobbering over Dame Time's 24 PPG (on 51% eFG) to look at the damage of punting two efficient shooters in Jrue Holiday (43% from 3) & Grayson Allen (46% #1 in the NBA). Along with an unprotected 2029 First + 2028 & 2030 pick swaps (when Giannis will be 33-35).

The unimpressive results are in. The bigger story now is this deal has Billy King/KG/PP potential
 
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lovegtm

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Upon reflection, the funny thing to me about the Tatum/Ant comparison is that Ant is a lot like 22 year-old Tatum in some ways. He looks really, really amazing when his pullup is falling, and completely breaks game plans that way, and the heater can go for a long time. I'm interested to see how he can impact the game and the series when he inevitably has some tougher shooting games. He's really good defensively, so there's that, and he's able to do some bully ball on offense.
 

lovegtm

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This is why I roll my eyes when anyone posts Timpf videos, he’s absolutely incapable of rationally discussing anything related to the Celtics.

View: https://twitter.com/_JasonLT/status/1786928752880201882
The idea that Tatum had a "subpar" series against Miami goes far beyond Timpf, however. It's the default opinion right now online, even though Spoelstra demonstrated with his actions that he thought exactly opposite.

Appreciating what 2024 Tatum does is a basketball IQ test at this point. And I've been very critical of Tatum for his early season approach on pullups, and his approach in the 2nd Denver game, for example.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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The idea that Tatum had a "subpar" series against Miami goes far beyond Timpf, however. It's the default opinion right now online, even though Spoelstra demonstrated with his actions that he thought exactly opposite.

Appreciating what 2024 Tatum does is a basketball IQ test at this point. And I've been very critical of Tatum for his early season approach on pullups, and his approach in the 2nd Denver game, for example.
Why is this Timpf person's opinion even relevant in any discussion? Its weird to me that this place finds randos like this guy or that Youtube clown whose shtick is to be aggrieved on film because he is the smartest unemployed NBA coach out there. The only difference between those people and posters here is that they are choosing to use the socials to amplify their takes. If they want to post garbage over at the Sons of Colin Cowherd, that's fine but why do we even bring their idiocy here.

Serious question - why is Timpf an authority on hoops over even casual posters in this forum (I understand he played basketball - literally everyone who watches the sport has to some degree or another)?