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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

Celtics Loss To Cavs Meaningless For The Moment

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Celtics

The Boston Celtics were handed a blowout loss at home on Sunday at the Garden by LeBron James and the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers.

Sunday’s blowout was drowned out by Paul Pierce‘s #34 being raised into the rafters post-game, but even 24 hours later the loss’s long-term impact is still very unclear. Reason for the lack of clarity is that the Cavaliers showcased their brand new lineup on Sunday with no real gameplan other than playing basketball and running the ball through James. For the Celtics, they had no idea how to prepare for this Cavs team with no video available to prepare for the game.

With no video, Brad Stevens and company was delegated to shooting off the hip and having his squad ill-prepared for a highly important Sunday game. Of course, the team’s lack of preparation is troubling from a big picture perspective. But in the moment it is hard to blame though.

Boston’s lack of competitiveness in this particular game can be attributed to seeing essentially a new team for the first time. There play over the last couple of weeks has been highly troubling. Boston had a barn burner of a month in December but since then they have looked out of sync and seem to be playing less than 100%.

The best Boston has looked in 2018 came when the team as a whole stepped up in the absence of Kyrie Irving for a few games in January. But the team hasn’t played a full game which is something that Al Horford admitted after Sunday’s loss.

Coach Stevens made a comment earlier in the season about not stepping off the gas at this particular point in the season. But it appears the team hasn’t heeded his warning as they look at rebound and get back on the right track.

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Boston Celtics

Who Is The More Iconic #34 In Boston? David Ortiz Or Paul Pierce?

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A player who donned the number 34 jersey is having his number retired in his honor on Sunday. The player happens to be Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce who wore the number during his Celtics tenure. But Pierce played much of his carrer in Boston, a town that happens to have another player with the number 34 that was also retired.

The other player is former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz whose number 34 jersey was retired by Boston this past season.

So while both are legendary in their own rights with potential hall of fame careers, who is the more iconic? When I say the number 34 who do you think of?

Well, the tale of the tape might be simple. Ortiz led the Red Sox to 3 World Series titles and helped the franchise win its first title in 86 seasons. Pierce, on the other hand, holds one NBA title to his name with it coming back in 2008 when his Celtics team brought home the franchises 17th NBA Championship.

But looking at it in a simple numbers to numbers perspective simply isn’t fair to either player. Basketball and baseball are two completely different sports. Both are legends in Boston and their meaning to the city and the fans hold a lasting impact. For that reason I leave it up to you, the readers to determine who is the more iconic #34. Ortiz or Pierce?

Vote on the Tweet below to help determine who is the most iconic #34.

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Boston Celtics Trade Talk Quiet At The Moment As Former Players Move Around

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Ahead of the NBA trade deadline the Boston Celtics have remained relatively quiet from all accounts. Of course Danny Ainge is doing his due diligence by looking into every possible avenue, but for now, Boston is staying put according to a report by Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.

Just because the Celtics are being quiet doesn’t mean players with connections to the team aren’t moving around.

Earlier on Thursday Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder who were traded this offseason were both traded out of Cleveland to the Los Angeles Lakers. Another name connected to Boston is former Celtics big man Kendrick Perkins who is now a favorite to land into one of Clevland’s open roster spots according to reports.

In the Eastern Conference, the only team with playoff hopes to really shake up their rosters was Cleveland. Washington, Milwaukee, and Toronto all stayed relatively quiet.

Boston’s deal with Greg Monroe is expected to be official shortly with the team also expected to be “highly” active in the buyout market.

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