Perhaps the biggest reason for that fact is superstar forward Jayson Tatum. Tatum has been considered one of the top young players in the league for a few years, but many fans see him as a superstar now.
No one has to tell Tatum that, however. He already believes that he is one of the best players in the world. He said as much when speaking with Jared Weiss of The Athletic.
“(I learned) that I’m 24 and one of the best players in the world and that I will compete against whoever and take on that challenge,” Tatum said. “In that same breath, I feel like there’s so much I could be better at, and I think that’s the exciting part. That I’m at where I’m at, where there’s so much more I can be, so much more I can learn and so many more experiences to go through.”
Last season, Tatum averaged a fabulous 26.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. He went on to average 25.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game in the playoffs.
That dip in production doesn’t exactly tell the whole story, however. His playoff scoring average was brought down a bit by a lackluster showing in the final series. By that point, he definitely seemed worn down.
Earlier in the playoffs, he was a monster. He had games where he dropped 30 or more points on seven different occasions in the playoffs.
Perhaps his best performance came in a must-win Game 6 against the Milwaukee Bucks with the Celtics down 3-2 in the second round of the playoffs. In that game, Tatum posted 46 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
It will be exciting to see how much better Tatum can be in the upcoming season and whether or not that improvement will be enough to bring a title to Boston.