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The Celtics got off to a fine start to their season with the 105-87 win over the Philadelphia 76'ers. The rust was quite evident in the play of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, and that was expected. Al Horford had a solid game, and his four blocks were noteworthy, while Jaylen Brown appeared to have a few summer cobwebs on him. But the star of the game was Jayson Tatum.


Jayson played 28 minutes and was high scorer for Boston with 23 points on 9-of-17 from the floor. He added nine rebounds, three assists and one steal. But the numbers don't tell the entire story. At the 6:10 mark of the first quarter, Tatum did some fine footwork against his defender - knew just when to launch the 2-point jumper - and nailed it (per TNT Analyst Reggie Miller): "(Jayson's shot) has Kobe Bryant written all over it. Puts his defender at a disadvantage - knows when the defender is off-balance - knocks down the shot."


Than at the 9:45 mark in the second quarter, Tatum showed some fine anticipation reminiscent of John Havlicek and Larry Bird, where he stole the ball and went full court for the score. You could see the steal coming in Tatum's eyes.


Jayson's most-entertaining play came with his pen pal, Joel Embiid, guarding him outside. Tatum played with him a while - then banked in a jumper over Joel, finally giving him a playful stare-down. Loved it all.



I also saw this sequence coming. Jayson scored and started jawing with the officials, arguing that he had been fouled with no call made. I could not read Brad Stevens' lips, but I didn't have to. I knew he was telling Jayson to get his head back into the game and go on to the next play. Tatum is still a work-in-progress, but with his talent and the mentor-ship of savant Stevens, the sky is the limit.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC and Facebook

Photo via Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Tom Lane 10/17/2018 07:25:00 AM Edit
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