Is Jayson Tatum the Next Boston Celtics Great?
In 2017, The Boston Celtics drafted Jayson Tatum with the 3rd overall pick. Ever since he was drafted, he has exceeded expectations and more. He is turning into more and more of a superstar each and every game he’s playing. And after having three 50+ point games this year, including a franchise tying 60 point game, can he be the next great Celtic. With many historic names like Bill Russell, Larry Bird, John Havlicek, and Paul Pierce, this franchise has a ton of history. History that includes 21 trips to the Finals with 17 NBA championships. With how he is ascending, it looks like it won’t be long until Tatum joins that list of Celtic greats.
When Tatum was drafted, he came to a Celtics that was looking to be a contender. During the 2017 off-season, The Celtics signed Gordon Hayward and traded for Kyrie Irving, along with having Jaylen Brown and Al Horford from the previous year. Tatum excelled with being a Rookie of the Year candidate. A couple of years later, this would be Tatum’s breakout year with receiving his first All-Star nod. This year, he’s averaged career highs in rebounds and assists while also exceeding his scoring. From the way we see it, Tatum’s progress is going nowhere but up and he has the chase to keep getting better.
Tatum’s Playoff History
During his career, Tatum has built a lot of playoff experience. The Celtics have made the playoffs every year since he’s been drafted. Ever since he was drafted four years ago, he’s made the Eastern Conference finals in two of those years. Some of the most memorable runs he had were his rookie season. A season in which he scored 28 points against the Philadelphia 76ers in game 1 of the East Semi and made an iconic poster dunk on LeBron James. He also had some amazing performances in the bubble, including a couple of 30 plus point games in a sweep of the Philadelphia 76ers and a 29 point double-double in a series-clinching Game 7 against the Toronto Raptors.
Comparing to Celtics Legends
Tatum is only four years into his career and he’s already being compared to Celtic legends. The closest comparison to Tatum so far has been Paul Pierce. The components of this comparison are their height, their clutch play, and also their ability to make the players around them better. Of course, when it comes to scoring, he’s been compared to Larry Bird a lot with his multiple 50 point games and the fact that he and Bird are the only Celtic players to score 60 points in a game. He might not be the same caliber as Bird yet, but he’s a similar arsenal of scoring.
With the trajectory of the way Tatum’s career is going, he’s only getting better and better. In a way, he’s becoming a bonafide superstar right before our very eyes. Jayson Tatum has the chance to become one of the best players the Celtics have ever drafted. The fact that he’s only 23 years old, means he hasn’t even hit his prime yet. If the Celtics can build around Tatum, he has the chance to get one or multiple championships in Boston and be alongside some of the greatest players in Celtics history.
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