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Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum Has “Truth” To The Hype

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Jayson Tatum Could Be The Real Deal

The Celtics may have the next Paul Pierce on their hands, in rookie small forward Jayson Tatum. You have probably heard this by now. There’s a preponderance of ambitious comparisons being thrown around. Even Pierce himself has given this promising youngster his valuable endorsement. And well, how can you argue with that?

When a venerated legend, like Paul Pierce, admits that he sees elements of his game in a rookie, it’s okay to be excited. Especially when that rookie is wearing green. Danny Ainge would be absolutely over the moon if his 2017 first-rounder, Jayson Tatum, is able to translate any of this hype into success.

The only question: Is there any “Truth” to the hype?

Apples and Apple Seeds

Jayson Tatum – 6’8” 205lb forward who plays like an undersized center. The Celtics must have seen some inconspicuous talent in this 19-year-old, as they controversially selected him 3rd overall in this year’s draft. Bear in mind that they traded down, from the first pick, to select what was said to be “their guy” with the third.

Boston saw a protest in the streets when this trade was announced. The formidable evaluators on the Celtics staff had to have been unwaveringly sold on this kid. If you take the time to put him under a microscope, it’s easy to see why the C’s were so confident in their “questionable” move.

Tatum only played one year of collegiate D-1 basketball. Given the contemporary stipulations of the CBA, he entered the NBA as soon as he possibly could have. Some may guffaw at the idea of an inexperienced teenager being effective going up against grown men, but the numbers don’t lie.

As a freshman at Duke, Jayson Tatum’s stats were very comparable to Paul Pierce’s stats with Kansas.

Pierce averaged 16.4 PPG and 6.3 REB’s, over the course of his 3 seasons with the Jayhawks. Tatum put up 16.8 PPG, coupled with an impressive 7.3 rebounds per contest, in his only NCAA season. That’s a tick better than Paul Pierce’s college career totals, and it was only Tatum’s first year!

Jayson Tatum also has a selfless inclination to facilitate; his passing is efficient and beyond his age, bordering on clairvoyant. Celtics Head Coach, Brad Stevens, has given him similar compliments in regards to his defensive play. The kid has NBA ready basketball intelligence and he is greatly attuned to the game.

Similar to Paul Pierce’s approach, Tatum’s performance on the court derives from his durable and calloused frame. He bodies people; he pivots with his shoulders to create room, then he decides what the most mathematically sound decision is.

If you go back and watch Paul Pierce, you’ll see that he also knew how to carve out space within double-teams. He never had speed. Pierce had size, but he didn’t have transcendent size. He simply knew how to use his body. This is exactly what Tatum has predicated his basketball career on.  

During the 2017 NBA preseason, Jayson Tatum has shone resplendently, like the future star that he is. Brad Stevens has been giving him just about 23 minutes per scrimmage. When surrounded by a newly-formed super team that’s still trying to stimulate cohesion with each other, that’s not much time. Despite his limited minutes, Jayson Tatum has averaged 8.2 PPG and a little over 4 REB’s. And speaking of cohesion, he’s run the court well with the first-stringers. Tatum has not appeared to be overwhelmed, at all, with the role that he’s been given.

Same Tools, Different Job

Although the resemblance that Jayson Tatum bears to Paul Pierce is undeniably visible, their respective rookie roles will be very different.

When the Celtics drafted Paul Pierce, the team was a reclamation project in deep rebuilding-mode. Therefore a significant portion of the 1998-99 team’s minutes was allocated to the young superstar. He averaged 34 minutes per game, in his first season. Whereas Tatum will presumably be looking at 15-20.

He’ll be competing with more developed teammates, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris, for a time at the forward position. That’s not a bad problem to have; the C’s are stacked with gifted 3’s and 4’s. Brad Stevens happens to be one of the best coaches when it comes to cultivating young talent. So it’s safe to say that Tatum will not be lost in this gauntlet of meritocracy.

As Paul Pierce noted when comparing himself to Tatum, the kid’s drive will ultimately dictate his success in this league. He’s surely not going to be a featured starter right from the get-go. But it seems like he has the resolve to work his tail off, under Stevens’ guidance. With that being said, Celtics fans should get a pretty revealing glimpse at Jayson Tatum’s potential, during the 2017-18 season.

Boston is not asking him to be their Paul Pierce, their franchise, at least not at the moment. But his ability, his basketball IQ, and his physicality suggest that he may have just what it takes to become that type of special player.

Columnist operating out of Manchester, NH. Retired pitcher (unprofessional not amateur). Voracious consumer of all things Celtics and Red Sox. Sometimes I produce content as well.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics Have a Bench Problem

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Jayson Tatum

With the Celtics suffering a nonplussing loss at the hands of the Utah Jazz, it’s become apparent: This bench is gonna need some help. And they’re going to have to find this help from within themselves.

Ever since he was acquired from the Pistons, Marcus Morris was expected to be the most talented asset on the Celtics bench. Morris has the skills to be a secondary powerhouse in the NBA. Just last season, for Detroit, Morris averaged 14.0 PPG and just about 5 RPG.

But unfortunately his young tenure in Boston has deteriorated into “what ifs”.

Marcus has been afflicted with a lancinating and unrelenting pain in his left knee. Not only did he miss the start of the season, but he’s been sidelined yet again by this tenacious problem.

Without Morris on the court, Boston’s bench lacks that veteran’s heart and wisdom that he provides. They also are mathematically short in the scoring department, without the versatile big man.

As we saw Friday night at the Garden, somebody is going to need to step up – and fast.

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Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum’s Patience: The Deciding Factor

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Jayson Tatum

There is currently a preponderance of NBA rookies who are dominating the league. We’re talking about 20-somethings (some even younger than that) leading their teams in nearly every statistical category.

This is no longer your father’s NBA.

Gone are the days of “earning your stripes”. In today’s game, if a player has the talent he’s going to be encouraged to use it.

Our favorite youngling, here in Boston, is unanimously Jayson Tatum. This 19-year-old kid has stormed the Garden like some new-school Larry BirdPaul Pierce hybrid. He’s the futuristic embodiment of “Celtics Basketball” – the silhouette for Boston’s modern logo.

But Tatum’s not even the superlative of this year’s rookie class!

Many “Green Teamers” would argue the cockeyed contention that Jayson Tatum is a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year. As heartening as it may be for the flourishing freshman to hear such high praise, it still stems from unchecked fandom.

I swear, there must be something circulating around the Charles River. It seems that Boston has become more and more generous, in recent years, when it comes to appraising young talent.

In every sport, we’re ready to give our kindergarteners their high school diploma, the very second they demonstrate their ability.

The homer expectations, surrounding Jayson Tatum, are in need of an adjustment. Let’s take a look at a few rookies, who are ahead of Tatum in the primary categories.

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Boston Celtics

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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New England is now fully immersed in the brisk whirlwind of the holiday season. This is a conflicted time for sports fans.

The threadbare traditions and awkward reunion of estranged family members only serves to interrupt our connection to our favorite teams. And it happens right when we’re in the thick of things.

How can one prioritize with so many agendas – family or sports? Surely there will come a moment when you’ll have to choose.

But do not worry. Trifecta Sports has your back.

We’re here to abbreviate all of the Boston Sports highlights so that fans can stay tuned in, all while going through the motions of the season. I promise to be even more critical and unforgiving, when eviscerating the play of New England teams.

So do your thing! Put a smile on for the family. And keep coming to Trifecta for sports news, whenever you get a free second to pretend that you’re bathroom.

You already know what this is, folks. It’s time for another perturbed installment of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Walking in Winter Wonderland Edition.

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