Jayson Tatum Joins Elite Celtics Club With Historical Feat

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics

Getty Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics are one of the most historic franchises, not only in the NBA, but in all of sports. They have 17 championships, the most Hall-of-Famers of any NBA team, and 20 players representing them on the NBA 7th Anniversary team – more than any other franchise.

It’s not easy to make history in Beantown. With numerous retired jerseys, a long history of legends, and extremely high expectations every season, only the true NBA greats are able to etch their names into Boston history books.

And currently, it looks as though one Celtics youngster is paving his own way into Boston lore – Jayson Tatum. At just 24 years old, Tatum is already looking like the next great Celtic. Obviously, he needs the hardware to back up that title, but statistically speaking, he’s well on his way.

Just last season, Tatum tied Larry Bird’s single-game scoring record, dropping 60 points in a comeback win over the San Antonio Spurs. When browsing the top-ten scoring performances in Celtics history, you will find Tatum’s not once, but four times. And on April 6, Tatum joined another elite Celtics club.

Tatum Joins Elite Celtics Scoring Club

With 9:37 remaining in the first quarter in a game against the Chicago Bulls on April 6, Tatum nailed a free throw, notching his 2,000th point of the regular season. In turn, he joined a list of only six other names to have accomplished that feat in the history of the Celtics.

Bird did it five times (in consecutive seasons from 1984 to 1988), John Havlicek did it four times (in consecutive seasons from 1970 to 1973), Paul Pierce did it four times, and Sam Jones, Kevin McHale, and Isaiah Thomas each did it once. Thomas was the most recent Celtic to drop 2,000 points in a season, getting it done in the 2016-17 NBA season.

Tatum will now have his name forever associated with those six Celtics legends, five of whom are in the Hall of Fame. The moment wasn’t without dramatics, though, as funnily enough, Tatum entered the game against the Bulls with 1,999 points. He was just one point shy of reaching the 2,000-point mark in Boston’s final home game of the season against the Washington Wizards on April 3.

Tatum’s Struggles Turned to Success

Tatum’s accomplishment seems even crazier when considering how much he struggled at the start of the season. Boston was hovering around .500 and Tatum’s shooting splits had dropped dramatically from the previous season.

From the start of the season to the end of 2021, Tatum was averaging 25.6 points a night while shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 32.9 percent from deep. For comparison, Tatum averaged 26.4 points in the 2020-21 season, while shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from three-point range.

But once the year turned to 2022, Tatum kicked things into overdrive. Since the start of the new year, he’s averaged 27.9 points while shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from three. And since the start of March, those numbers have jumped to 31.0 points, 51.5 percent from the field, and 41.4 percent from three-point land. He’s taken things to another level lately.

The 24-year-old’s offensive improvements have also helped the Celtics climb all the way up to second in the Eastern Conference. If he keeps performing at this level, he’ll continue to etch his name all throughout the Celtics’ history books.

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