Checking in with the Celtics…Part 3

Los Angeles Clippers v Boston Celtics

Part 3 (Games 35-54):

Game 35 vs. San Antonio; L, 114-129:

  • This game could not have started off any worse.  The Spurs blitzed the Celtics scoring 22 points to the Celtics 3 through the first 7 minutes of the game.  The Spurs went on to score 65 points in the first half in the poorest showing by the Celtics at home this season…but it got worse.  The Celtics came out firing in the second half and cut the lead down to 7 points but then Kemba Walker got lit up on a hard screen, yelled at the ref (who shall remain nameless) and was promptly ejected.  The Celtics had no business winning this game after the atrocious display they put on in the first half but the game (and the comeback effort) essentially ended on that whistle.  A disappointing and unnecessary call by the official, but it is what it is. Boston really needed to come out strong after the terrible loss to Washington and the opposite happened tonight.  There isn’t much of a silver lining to spin on this game aside from the fact that a loss like this should kick the Celtics into high gear tomorrow versus Philadelphia.  Onto the next one…
  • Player of the Game: There really shouldn’t be a Celtic player that is praised from this game but if anyone deserves it, it’s Gordon Hayward. Hayward shot well (7/14, 4/7 from 3) and finished the game with 18 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 30 minutes.  If anything, this game helped raise Hayward’s confidence back to the level he was playing at in the first few games of the season pre-injury.


Game 36 @ Philadelphia; L, 89-109:

  • Bad news first: that’s three losses in a row for the Celtics, the worst losing streak of the season. Philadelphia was without Joel Embiid so this was a game the C’s should have won regardless of whether the game was in Philly or not.  The Celtics were also up 15 at one point and managed to choke it away…. All that being said, the Celtics looked better than they have in a couple games.  Kemba came out pissed off after his ejection last game (see below) and Marcus Smart had one of his best games of the season with 24 points, shooting 5/7 from 3.  Hayward, Brown and Tatum did not shoot well but each contributed in other ways.  Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter both played big and continued their strong play as well.  The fact of the matter is the Celtics played well in a hostile environment on the second night of a back to back and that’s a step in the right direction.  Losing three straight is never ideal but I’m encouraged by how well the C’s played for the majority of this game.
  • Player of the Game: Kemba Walker is a nine year veteran and a 2-time sportsmanship award winner during his tenure in the NBA.  His ejection the other night was shocking to us fans but I think it bothered Kemba more than anyone.  He came out tonight with a vengeance.  Shooting 50% from the field and generally playing like a man on a mission, Walker finished with 26 points and 3 assists. I can’t stress how important Kema is to this team on a nightly basis.  He makes everything easier for his teammates and it’s nights like tonight against premiere teams that showcase his immense talent.

Game 37 vs. New Orleans; W, 140-105:

  • Plain and simple: the Celtics wanted this game and they also needed it more.  Coming off a season high 3 losses in a row, the C’s desperately needed a resounding win and they got it off the back of Jayson Tatum (see below).  The Celtics started off hot scoring 41 points in the first frame and never looked back from there.  Throw in another 40 point quarter in the 3rd and this game was over quickly for the starters.  The Celtics had a well-rounded game from everyone with Hayward tallying 19 points and 5 rebounds, Kemba Walker with 17 points and 7 assists and Jaylen Brown shrugged off a rough shooting night by attacking the rim and finishing with 13.  The real bright spot though came off the bench for the C’s as Enes Kanter had a career night wearing the green.  Kanter shot 10/13 from the field finishing with 22 points and 19 rebounds.  I can’t remember a time when a Celtic was that dominant on the glass or in the paint and it was nice to see.
  • Player of the Game: It’s no secret that as Jayson Tatum goes, so do the Celtics.  The young forward is slowly turning his personal success into team success for the Celtics.  Tatum paced the C’s from the beginning hitting his first 8 of 9 shots to the tune of 22 points at the half.  He finished with a career high 41 points as he eclipsed the 40 point marker for the first time in his young career.  Seeing Tatum work tonight was a joy to watch as he displayed every facet of his versatile and deadly offensive game.  Obviously, the 41 points are the headline for Tatum but he also tallied 3 steals showcasing his other emerging talents as a defender.

Game 38 vs. Chicago; W, 113-101:

  • In back to back games, the Celtics have started off hot and that is a trend I hope the C’s continue to build on.  Unfortunately, the Celtics let off the gas a bit in the second half and the Bulls crawled their way back in it.  Got to give credit to Chicago for not giving up after only scoring 37 points in the first half but the Celtics need to finish and play these games all the way through.  Enes Kanter started this game with Theis out and continued his stellar play with 15 points and 9 rebounds.  Gordon Hayward had a horrible night from the field (4/11) but was active all night and made all the right reads finishing with 8 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds.  Kemba Walker has become an afterthought in some of these recent games but he shot 50% from 3 and provided the leadership to close this game out once Chicago started climbing back.
  • Player of the Game: Games like these seem to be happening more often for the Celtics.  This was another fire and ice game for Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. One game after his career high, Tatum talled 21 and 6 rebounds while his partner in crime Jaylen Brown finished with 19 points. Offensively, the duo was solid but it was defensively where they really shined.  That first half saw the two of them swarming Chicago all over the floor to the tune of 2 blocks and a steal for Tatum and 2 swipes for Brown.  When Tatum and Brown are engaged and locked in like that on both sides of the floor, the Celtics are hard to beat.

Game 39 vs. Detroit; L, 103-116:

  • No excuses for the Celtics in this game and time for a small reckoning.  Since the new year has begun (actually probably since the Christmas Day game), Boston has been in a slump.  The energy and intensity that we saw in the beginning of the season is gone and in its place has been a lackluster defensive effort filled with selfish offensive play.  The schedule has been brutal but the rest of the NBA will show zero sympathy for that and the media doesn’t have time for excuses.  The Celtics need to play better PERIOD.  All that being said, mad props to Detroit and especially Derrick Rose in this one.  He was guarded by the one guy who never stops playing hard on the Celtics in Marcus Smart all night.  Smart played mad dog defense on Rose getting in his grill and the former MVP still put up 22 points and 6 assists on 11/13 shooting.  The pistons as a team shot a scorching 60% (!!!) against a Celtics team that seemingly had no answers.  Very Frustrating loss especially with Milwaukee coming up tomorrow.
  • Player of the Game: I’m so mad that I would rather not pick a player of the game but if anyone deserves it, it’s Gordon Hayward.  Hayward was efficient (11/15 from the field) and consistently made the right play finishing with 25 points and 7 rebounds on the night. Hayward’s play tonight was the silver lining in an otherwise dismal effort by the C’s.

Game 40 @ Milwaukee; L, 123-128:

  • Despite the outcome, this was a step in the right direction for the Celtics.  They played hard all night despite the Bucks dropping 76 points (!!!) on them in the first half. It was a ferocious second half and a dominant performance from Kemba Walker (see below) that kept the Celtics from getting blown out.  Theis had a double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, Smart hit 5/10 from 3 and finished with 24 points and Tatum had 17 despite a poor shooting night (8/20 from the field).  Hayward had a tough game shooting 1/10 from the field and the Celtics bench didn’t offer much help either.  It just goes to show how important it is to beat the teams you are supposed to during the regular season.  A win in Detroit last night would have made this loss easier to swallow but alas, it’s now two straight losses for Boston on their back to back set.
  • Player of the Game: The Celtics showed grit in crawling back into this game but they were also carried on the offensive end by Kemba Walker. Kemba shot 60% from the field and finished with 40 points.  Nobody on Milwaukee had an answer for him as he slithered all over the floor getting layups, midrange buckets and 3 pointers.  Performances like this are encouraging even in a loss because it’s likely the Celtics will have to play the Bucks once we get to the playoffs.  If Brown (sprained thumb) or Tatum (rough shooting night) can join Kemba in the scoring barrage, the Celtics have as good a chance as anyone in the East of beating Milwaukee in a 7 game series.  Since I don’t see Milwaukee getting a defender to cover Kemba before the trade deadline, Kemba would be expected to have a great series and I would be willing to bet on that happening.


Game 41 vs. Phoenix; L, 119-123:

  • Phoenix is a tough team despite their 18-24 record.  I’m not giving the Celtics any excuses here but the combination of Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton is one that will give teams fits for the foreseeable future. Booker had a near triple double (39/9/10) while Ayton dominated the Celtics inside with 26 points and 15 rebounds.  This was the third straight loss for the Celtics as they continue to drop in the Eastern Conference standings.  Losing 6 of their last 8 games, this stretch has been incredibly tough but I believe it’s merely a bump in the road.  Despite the skid, the Celtics players and coaches remain upbeat but are also conscious of their uneven play.  Stevens himself said in order for the Celtics to bounce back, they’ll need a renewed effort from the defense which in turn, will make it easier on the offense as well.
  • Player of the Game: Marcus Smart did absolutely everything he could to keep the Celtics in this game including setting a Celtics franchise record for threes.  That’s right, the man who only a couple seasons ago put together one of the worst shooting seasons in NBA history is now breaking records.  Without Kemba or Jaylen, the scoring load from the guard spot rested with Smart.  He hit 11 of 22 threes (!!!) and finished with a career high 37 points and 8 assists.  This was the best all around game I’ve ever seen Marcus play.  He was confident with his shot, played aggressive and got all his teammates involved including helping Hayward (22 points) and Tatum (26 points) bounce back from rough shooting efforts in their previous games.  He also played his typical stellar defense on Booker all night. Yes, Booker scored 39 points but Smart was in his grill the whole way.

Game 42 vs. Los Angeles Lakers; W, 139-107:

  • HUGE and much needed win for the C’s tonight!  Boston absolutely dominated the Lakers and it felt damn good!  The Celtics were coming off three straight L’s and have dropped in the standings so this win was very much needed.  The Lakers came out the gate with an 8-0 run to start and it looked like it was going to be a long night for the C’s.  Los Angeles looked huge with Lebron, Davis and McGee running the floor and dunking all over the place until the C’s finally figured it out.  After that 8-0 run, it was all Celtics.  Boston scored 30+ points in all 4 quarters and managed to stymie the Lakers’ lethal attack with tough defense.  There were a lot of great performances individually to note.  Tatum (see below) played great, Hayward was steady (16 points, 5 assists, 6 rebounds), Kemba and Brown both had 20 (and combined for 13 assists) and Enes Kanter had a run in the second quarter in which he dominated the paint (finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds on 8/10 shooting).  Smart and Theis played their usual solid games with hustle plays and moments that won’t show up in the box score but nonetheless their contributions with invaluable. Jaylen Brown also had a huge highlight driving right by Danny Green and dunking on Lebron’s head.
  • Player of the Game: In a game where nearly every Celtic who got in the game played well, Jayson Tatum shined above all.  Shooting 10/18 and 5/8 from 3, Tatum was on fire all game.  He finished with 27 points and a +32 on the night as a whole.  It’s worth noting that Brad Stevens’ allocation of minutes for Tatum sometimes swing games in the Celtics favor.  Stevens pulls Tatum early in the first which leads to big minutes for Tatum in the second period and that’s when the Celtics began to pull away.  Tatum dominated whoever was guarding him and led the Celtics to a 14 point lead going into the half.

Game 43 vs. Memphis; W, 119-95:

  • Following up one of the biggest wins of the season against Los Angeles, Boston continued its stellar play against a red hot Memphis team.  Ja Morant has been the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year so far and the Celtics held him to 2 points in tonight’s contest on 1/5 shooting.  A total team effort, the Celtics had 6 players in double figures and played extremely efficiently on both ends of the court.  This game was unofficially over in the first half after Kanter tallied 10 points and 8 rebounds on 8/10 shooting with the rest of the Celtics clicking on all cylinders.  Daniel Theis tallied 3 blocks and 2 steals to go along with 14 points; Hayward and Kemba played well despite not getting their usual workload and Smart had an efficient 12 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds.
  • Player of the Game: This was a strange game to a pick a player of the game especially when the player I’m about to mention exited in the 3rd quarter with an injury.  Jayson Tatum was dominant in this game and he only needed one half to do it.  He finished with 23 points, 4 assists and 7 rebounds while shooting 9-18 from the field.  He left with a groin strain that doesn’t sound too terrible but I do expect him to miss some time.  The Celtics have a 3 game road trip coming up against Orlando, New Orleans and Miami so we can only hope that Brown and Tatum will be good to go for those games.

Game 44 @ Orlando; W, 109-98:

  • The Celtics had every reason to lose this game. No Brown, Tatum or Kanter and down 16 at one point. They had every reason to fold up and get ready for the rest of the road trip but they battled, scrapped and clawed until the end.  Kemba Walker was outstanding (see below), Gordon Hayward had one of his best games of the season and the shorthanded Celtics found a way to win.  In the second half, this team really banded together with contributions from everyone.  Grant Williams started and nailed three 3’s; Daniel Theis chipped in with the scoring (16 points, 6 rebounds), Javonte Green had a couple thunderous dunks and played a season high 28 minutes and Marcus Smart played his usual stellar defense while also chipping in 6 assists.  Efforts like tonight make this team so fun to watch no matter who’s on the floor.
  • Player of the Game: The comeback was a team effort through and through but the Celtics never would have gotten that chance if not for Kemba Walker‘s outstanding play in the first half.  He tallied 27 points in that first half and kept the Celtics in it eventually finishing with 37 points and 6 assists.  This was yet another one of those nights where the Celtics needed an offensive push and Kemba provided it.

Game 45 @ New Orleans; L, 108-123:

  • So I’ve gotta be honest, I didn’t watch this game with the same fervor I usually would and it seemed like the players, coaches and announcers felt the same way.  Today, January 26, 2019 was a terrible day for the game of basketball as we lost one of the greatest to ever do it: Kobe Bryant. I’ll use this space as my own personal moment of silence for Kobe. RIP


Game 46 @ Miami; W, 109-101:

  • Every game the Celtics play from this point forward is important but this one held a little more heft than usual.  5 teams are striving for that number 2 seed in the East behind Milwaukee including this Miami Heat team.  With the win, the Celtics closed the gap on the Heat to 1/2 a game and also crept closer to the 1.5 game lead Toronto holds over the C’s.  Besides the implications in the standings, this was a solid win for the C’s all the way around. No Eastern conference team had beaten the Heat in their own building until tonight and the Celtics also limited Miami to their worst shooting performance of the season at 37%.  All 5 starters scored in double figures for the Celtics who were playing without Jayson Tatum yet still managed to find enough scoring to overwhelm the Heat. Theis had a double double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, Kemba finished with 16 points and 8 assists and Jaylen Brown was extremely efficient with 25 points (10/16 shooting) and 5 assists.
  • Player of the Game: No Celtics starter shined more than Gordon Hayward though.  Shooting 10/14 from the field, Hayward finished with 29 points and 9 rebounds. Seeing these types of games from Hayward are so encouraging for fans and for him.  Early in the season, this type of efficiency and scoring output was becoming commonplace until his injury woes began.  If he can put a few games like this together, he undoubtedly raises the Celtics ceiling on where they can go this year.

Game 47 vs. Golden State; W, 119-104:

  • Seems like the Celtics are finally starting to hit their stride after an up and down January.  Even though the Warriors have struggled this season, the Celtics still needed to come out and show that they are capable of getting ahead and holding a lead.  This win was a step in that direction as the Celtics lead the whole game and won every quarter.  All the starters played well with Tatum and Hayward (see below) combining for 45 points and over 50% shooting.  Marcus Smart came off the bench for 21 points and hit 5/10 threes and Jaylen Brown continued his strong play.  Tatum found out that he made the all-star team for the first time in his career joining Kemba Walker tonight as well. It was a great night for the Celtics all around but I can’t help but feel that this will light a fire under Jaylen Brown.  While I don’t think he got “snubbed” a la Devin Booker, I do believe Brown has played at an all-star level and it would have been nice to see him receive the honor.  That being said, I look forward to Brown’s response to it as I’m sure he will take out his perceived anger via his performance on the court.
  • Player of the Game: Gordon Hayward continued his efficient shooting with his second straight game over 50% shooting.  He finished with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.  All of the Celtics starters played well this game but it was nice to see Hayward continuing to assert himself even with Jayson Tatum back in the lineup.  Like I said after last game, a confident and aggressive Hayward gives this Celtics team another gear and yet another scorer to lean on once the games slow down and start to mean more in the playoffs.

Game 48 vs. Philadelphia; W, 116-95:

  • Look, Philly still won the season series 3-1 so I’m not going to talk too much shit.  But it just seems like the Sixers are imploding while the Celtics are gelling and that feeling couldn’t be any sweeter.  Playing without Kemba Walker, the Celtics dominated the Sixers pretty much the whole game.  Joel Embiid shot 1/11 from the field as a combination of Daniel Theis, Grant Williams and Semi Ojeleye stymied him at every turn.  Brown had a great game (see below), Tatum had 25 and Marcus Smart tallied 16.  Despite missing Kemba and Hayward having a rough shooting night (1/11); the Celtics relied on their bench and their role players who all stepped up.  The aforementioned Ojeleye had 11 points and Brad Wanamaker chipped in a huge 15 points in 26 minutes.
  • Player of the Game: Much has been said about players like Bradley Beal and Devin Booker getting snubbed from the all-star game.  The media along with Booker and Beal have made it known that they were disappointed which I respect…. I prefer Jaylen Brown’s approach though.  Jaylen had perhaps his best game of the season scoring 32 points and tallying 9 rebounds.  He attacked Philly at every turn shooting 12/13 from inside the arc and playing downhill all game.  After the game against the Warriors, I predicted Brown would come out with a little fire and he made me a prophet tonight.


Game 49 @ Atlanta;W, 123-115:

  • 4 straight wins for the Celtics but Atlanta did not make this one easy.  Despite their record, the Hawks have given the C’s trouble the last couple of games they’ve played them and it’s mostly due to Trae Young’s stellar play.  The young all-star starter finished with 34 points on 10/20 shooting from the field and rung up 23 points at halftime as the Celtics defense looked atrocious.  The C’s buckled down in the second half behind big games from Tatum (see below) Hayward (24pts, 6 asts, 7 rbs) and Brown (21pts and 5rbs).  Wanamaker had yet another huge game with both Walker and Smart out scoring 16 points off the bench. Grant Williams also had perhaps his best game as a Celtic.  Williams tallied 13 points and 6 rebounds but it was his clutch bucket late in the 4th quarter that sealed the victory for the Celtics.
  • Player of the Game: Jayson Tatum continued his ascent to superstardom finishing with 28 points 7 rebounds. With Kemba out, Tatum willingly took over the role of closer and go-to scorer while managing to stay efficient.  Ever since Tatum was named an all-star he’s been playing with a different type of swagger and you love to see it.  We gotta remember he’s only 21 but the way he has taken over this team as of late reminds me of a young Paul Pierce or maybe even a young Kobe.  Time will tell….

Game 50 vs. Orlando; W, 116-100:

  • 5 straight wins for the Celtics as they are finally starting to string together some W’s.  Every win is important as the race for the 2 seed becomes heated with the finish line in sight.  With Kemba Walker still sick, we got a surprise start from Romeo Langford who played well scoring 6 points and playing great defense.  Tatum (see below), Hayward and Brown all played well yet again as they are starting to become a 3-headed monster on both ends of the court.  Aside from Romeo’s first NBA start, another rookie also had perhaps his best game in green in consecutive games.  Grant Williams scored 13 points and tallied 6 rebounds while shooting 5/6 from the field.  The big news with Grant though was shooting 3/4 from the 3 point line.  If Grant can become consistent enough with his jump shot, I see big minutes for him going forward.
  • Player of the Game: As has been the case with the Celtics this month, Jayson Tatum led the way in this win.  Tatum finished with 33 points but he was dominant in all facets of the game not just scoring.  He dropped 5 assists, grabbed 8 rebounds, had 3 steals and 2 blocks in one of his best all around games of the season.  I’ve written about Tatum’s skill on the offensive end but he’s really made strides on the defensive end of the court as well. If Tatum can continue to be a “plus” defender, the Celtics are going to be a really difficult team to beat down the stretch.

Game 51 vs. Atlanta; W, 112-107:

  • As with the game a week ago, the Hawks gave the Celtics some trouble.  Atlanta just doesn’t quit and their blend of athleticism and shooting keeps them in every game.  That being said… the Hawks were missing Trae Young and the Celtics should have demolished this team from start to finish.  I don’t want to be too negative here as the Celtics did buckle down and come away with the win but the C’s need to start beating teams like this who are not on our level.  Enes Kanter continued his strong return from injury with a 16 point, 15 rebound game and the rookie Romeo Langford had what could be a breakout game for him with 16 points in 29 minutes along with some stellar defense.  Kemba Walker returned to the lineup with a productive 15/6/6 line through his 30 minutes looking very healthy and ready to go.
  • Player of the Game: Is it getting boring picking Jayson Tatum for this award every week?  Not in the slightest.  The young forward once again came up big for the C’s dropping a cool 32 points on 10/19 shooting including 7/12 from 3.  There aren’t many players who can guard Tatum once he gets going and Atlanta was no different.  Tatum simply rises up for his jumper and defenders are left staring. When that doesn’t work, he pulls out a bevy of moves that would have made his mentor Kobe Bryant proud.

Game 52 @ Oklahoma City; W, 112-111:

  • Oklahoma City is a mirror image of the Celtics in many ways.  Each team relies on ball movement and a stout defensive effort, each team utilizes a variety of players who can score and each team is led by an All-NBA guard.  That led to a very exciting and enjoyable basketball game on Sunday.  It was the Celtics 7th straight win and they had to claw and fight for it all the way until the end.  Marcus Smart would come away with the steal in the final seconds to seal the win for the Celtics as they get ready for a tough two game stretch to finish out their schedule before the all-star break.
  • Player of the Game: Well, here we are again, the player of the game of course goes to Jayson Tatum. In the third quarter, Tatum got hot and took this game over.  He finished with a double double (26 points/11 rebounds) and shot 10/19 from the field. This award could have gone to Kemba Walker (27 points) but it was Tatum’s third quarter that really put the Celtics ahead and put them in position to win this game despite the close finish.

Los Angeles Clippers v Boston Celtics

Game 53 @ Houston; L, 105-116:

  • Man…. the Rockets have really become a strange team.  No capela, no big man to speak of and a rotation that includes a bunch of role players who do the same thing and stand around the same height.  Westbrook and Harden had their fingerprints all over this game as the Celtics failed to contain them.  Despite the loss, the Celtics played well and got 6 players into double figures but they just couldn’t get over the hump.  I’ll chalk this one up to a bit of fatigue and also an unfamiliarity with a team that plays like Houston.
  • Player of the Game: In a game where Daniel Theis was the tallest player on the court, Gordon Hayward at 6’8 showed the versatility that made him an all-star with the Utah Jazz.  He wheeled and dealed all night to the tune of 20 points, 6 assists and 8 rebounds.  Hayward has played great the last few weeks.  His decision-making has been flawless and his scoring efficiency seems to be coming back up.

Game 54 vs. Los Angeles Clippers; W, 141-133 (2OT):

  • What a win to go into the all-star break with! The Celtics scraped and clawed their way to a win in one of the best games of the season.  Marcus Smart and Tatum (see below) combined for 16 of Boston’s 27 overtime points in the periods.  Smart (starting for the injured Jaylen Brown) finished with 31 points in one of his best offensive games of the season and the rest of the starters all scored in double figures.  Daniel Theis played big, Hayward tallied a double double with 21 and 13 rebounds and Kemba Walker had a dominant all around game with 19 points, 7 assists and 9 rebounds.  Simply put, this was a thrilling game from start to finish and a much needed win.  After the loss to the Rockets, the Celtics needed this to go into the all-star break on a high note and they delivered.
  • Player of the Game: Feels like this game was a watershed moment in Jayson Tatum’s career.  The last few weeks have been astonishing to watch the player he has become and it feels like it has climaxed with this game in particular.  Going toe to toe with Kawhi Leonard, Tatum didn’t blink and in fact outdueled the Finals MVP in the overtime periods.  Tatum finished with 39 points, 9 rebounds as he shot 14/23 from the field and 5/10 from 3.  With the end of the season in sight, I think we are going to look back on this game as the night when Tatum truly ascended to superstar status.

Overall Record Through 54 games: 38-16

Record over last 20 games: 13-7

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics

Some Random Thoughts:

Author’s Note: My “random thoughts” turned into about 2,000 words.  You can check them out in a seperate post….here

MVP of the last 20 games: Jayson “freaking” Tatum


  • I really don’t know what else to say at this point.  If you read my post tomorrow, you’ll hear me wax poetically about Tatum making the leap, becoming a star in this league and generally gushing about how much I love his game this season.  For most of the words I write in these posts, it comes straight from the heart.  I try not to bog myself or the reader down with too many numbers.  But for something like this where I’m giving an award out, I gotta have some numbers to back it up.  So let’s start with the broad strokes:  Only 4 players in NBA history have amassed 3,000 points, 1,00 rebounds and 150 3 pointers made before the age of 22.  Those players are Kobe Bryant at 266 games, Lebron James at 266 games, Kevin Durant at 236 games and of course… Jayson Tatum at 209 games.  If we’re gonna tighten it up a bit… in his last 13 games, Tatum has averaged 27 points per game upping his season average to 22.4 ppg to lead the Celtics.  Add in almost a block a game and 1.4 steals per game and Tatum is dominating all facets of the game on both sides of the ball.  If we’re gonna tighten it up even furthur… in two games against the Clippers (a perceived contender for the NBA Championship), Tatum has scored 30 and 39 points against two of the best defenders the league has to offer in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.  But fuck all those stats…. Tatum is having an all-time year and making a leap that us Celtics fans knew was coming but is nonetheless thrilling to watch. By the eye test alone, we can see Jayson’s confidence and composure rising by the game. I can’t wait to see where he ends up in a couple months. Also, don’t forget…. He’s only 21 people!!!!!


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