Prominent Analyst Has Strong Words for Celtics Star Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Getty Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum’s individual growth throughout the current season is a big reason why the Boston Celtics are considered a dark-horse contender for an NBA championship.

The 24-year-old’s growth as a playmaker, defender, rebounder, and slasher have all been integral in how the Celtics have asked him to operate this year, and now both Tatum and the team are reaping the rewards. In fact, if the St. Louis native hadn’t had such a slow start to the season, he would probably be a front-runner for Most Valuable Player.

Tatum’s growth as a player hasn’t gone unnoticed, though. Analysts, fans, and media members have all been singing Tatum’s praises during the Celtics’ dominant run, with many crediting him for leading the team’s offense and helping control the defensive glass.

Speaking on a recent episode of The Lowe Post, NBA analyst Chris Herring broke down what he thought was Tatum’s biggest development this season.

“The real thing is that Tatum, I don’t know what happened, the game slowed down for him from a scoring standpoint. I think he’s at a level now, where he’s entered the chat room with some of these other elite scorers.

And then the decision-making went to another level. You watch these dudes for years and hope they get it, and you start to give up on it, then all of a sudden, they get it. You can see it, he sees it, the other team sees it, and they’re doing all these things to knock him off, and he’s just problem solving all the time,” Herring told ESPN’S, Zach Lowe.

Tatum Saves His Best For After All-Star Break

It’s common knowledge that Tatum raises his game after the All-Star break. Following his initial selection in 2020, Tatum went on to average 26.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per night for the remainder of the regular season, showing the first signs that he was capable of becoming the superstar his potential had long promised.

Tatum has continued to start his seasons slow, before rapidly ramping up his production following the All-Star break. However, now that the St. Louis native has developed into such a dominant force, his next step will be to maintain his elite-level performances for the entire season – that’s how you become a league MVP.

“Next year, I’m going to tell him it’s January in September and see if we can get this kickstarted early,” Brad Stevens joked during an appearance on the Toucher & Rich show for 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Tatum Warned Embiid About MVP Trophy Next Season

Joel Embiid is one of the front-runners for the NBA’S Most Valuable Player award this season, following some exceptional individual and team-based performances. But, Tatum has weighed in on the Philadelphia 76ers star’s candidacy and warned him that if he doesn’t win the award this season, he’s got no chance of winning it next year.

“He called Drew Hanlen one day when Drew was with Embiid, he didn’t know it. But before he got off the phone, he made Drew put it on speakerphone and say to Embiid, ‘you better win MVP this year because it’s mine next year,” Chris Mannix told The Ringer’s Bill Simmons in a recent episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast.

Are the Celtics Still Contenders Without Robert Williams? | The Bill Simmons PodcastThe Ringer’s Bill Simmons talks with Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix about Robert Williams’s injury, Jayson Tatum’s elevated play, and whether the Boston Celtics can still win the title this season. For more from The Ringer: Shop: Website: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram: The Ringer on YouTube:

Tatum recently noted how he hasn’t had a full off-season since entering the NBA, and that he intends to make full use of the upcoming break after the playoffs, meaning he’s probably going to be working on improving multiple areas of his game.

“I think this is going to be my first kind of full summer since I’ve been in the league. I played on the FIBA team in 2019 and got injured. Then 2020 comes around and COVID hit, and that was the shortest offseason in NBA history. Last year, we were in training camp with USA while the season was still going on.

It’s always been something. I’ll handle this season first, but this offseason coming up is something I’m really, really looking forward to,” Tatum said during a recent podcast episode of The Draymond Green show.

With how much the three-time All-Star has improved without having the opportunity to work on his game during the summer months, a full off-season could mean we’re about to see Tatum take another leap, and for Celtics fans, that’s one of the most exciting things possible.


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