Despite glitches, Jayson Tatum off to great start in sophomore season
There is no doubt who the star was in last night's 103-101 Celtics win over the Knicks. He had a few glitches along the way, but the star-status goes to Jayson Tatum.
Jayson notched a solid double-double of 24 points and 14 rebounds. He shot 8-of-15 from the field, 2-of-3 on treys and a perfect 6-of-6 on free throws. He did, however, have a few miscues with four turnovers. Boston has several lock-down, clutch shooters when the game is on the line, but Jayson may end up being the teams primary option. Here is what he did in the last minute of the too-close game:
50:1 - Driving dunk for two points
34:2 - Grabbed a defensive rebound following his own missed dunk
21:1 - Turn-around, fade-away jumper for two points
07:9 - Made two free throws
01:1 - Foolishly fouled Trey Burke on a 3-pointer. Luckily, Burke missed 2-of-3. Final score 103-101.
So in the last minute of the game, Tatum bailed himself out by rebounding his own missed dunk, and then Burke bailed him out by missing two-of-three foul shots. While we realize this type of performance by such a young player never should have been needed to win against the Knicks, without it Boston would be starting the season with a 1-2 record.
On draft day in one of my Fantasy Basketball leagues, I was criticized for taking Tatum at the end of the fourth round, and I just got a 1-for-1 trade request involving Draymond Green who was taken in the middle of the third round. Everyone is noticing just how good this kid is. In three games, he is averaging 21.0 PPG, 10.7 RPG and 1.3 SPG, while shooting 48% on field goals, 36% on three-pointers and 92% from the foul line. Damn impressive. Jayson can get his shot off with fine accuracy against anybody. Larry Bird and Paul Pierce had that same knack. We have a good one on our hands.
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Photo via Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images