Jayson played 44 minutes of the overtime thriller, ending in a 113-107 Celtics victory. Tatum looked as poised and confident as he has during the regular season. He made shots of every possible description, and he made it look easy. He scored a double-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block.
What really got my attention was Jayson's aggressiveness on the boards. It was not simply the fact that he hauled down 10 boards. It was the fact that he really wanted them - fought for them - and made sure no opponent would take them from him. He was relaxed on his shots and intense on grabbing and controlling rebounds.
#Celtics rookies who have logged a double-double in their 1st playoff start:
☘️ Tommy Heinsohn
☘️ Bill Russell
☘️ JAYSON TATUM
Tommy Heinsohn and Bill Russell make for great company for Tatum. The two retired Celtics superstars were rookies in the same year and went on to have terrific careers within a winning tradition. More fine company can be found in the tweet below:
The @celtics Jayson Tatum is the second-youngest player in NBA history to record a double-double in a playoff game (20 years, 43 days). The youngest was Carmelo Anthony on Apr. 24, 2004 (19 years, 331 days).
Gone unnoticed in this game was the play of second-year man, and Jay-Team member, Jaylen Brown. Jaylen played big minutes (45), scored 20 points, grabbed four rebounds, passed off for four assists and had a plus/minus of +18 for the game. So both Jay-Team members faced the test and passed with high grades. The road ahead won't be any easier for the Celtics, but if these two budding stars can maintain this level of play, the near (and far) future look bright.
Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC
Photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports
Video via House of Highlights