Over the last couple of years, one of the brightest young rising stars in the NBA has been Jayson Tatum. Many have been high on his ultimate potential, especially after he took the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals last season.
In fact, the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green had some high praise for him during his podcast, “The Draymond Green Show.”
“Resiliency allows teams to show their true characters, so, we’ll get to see the true character of the Boston Celtics led by none other than the young GOAT, young next greatest Jayson Tatum,” said Green.
The Celtics have been through quite a bit of adversity in recent weeks. Early in the summer, they traded for combo guard Malcolm Brogdon and signed veteran sharpshooter Danilo Gallinari, leading many to believe they had found the missing pieces that would’ve allowed them to win it all this coming season.
But Gallinari ended up suffering an ACL injury that will presumably force him to miss all of this season, and suddenly Boston’s bench looked quite thin again.
Then in September, Ime Udoka, its young and impressive head coach, was suspended for violating team policies by having what it considered inappropriate relations with a female staffer.
This is the type of situation where the Celtics will need strong leadership to lead them out of the fog of turmoil they’re currently in, and it will fall on Tatum to provide it.
A Lackluster Finals
During the regular season, Tatum put up 26.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game, all of which were career-highs.
But during the championship series against the Warriors, Tatum shrunk and looked like a mere mortal, shooting over 43 percent in only one of the six contests.
In fact, he shot under 40 percent in four of the six games, including a 6-of-18 clunker in the decisive Game 6 at home.
The next step for Tatum that would make him a true superstar is stringing together consecutive great performances, both in terms of total output and efficiency, especially come playoff time. If he does so, the Celtics can definitely earn banner No. 18 next summer.