I hate to have to put pressure on a 22 year old but Jayson Tatum has been exposed to a ton early on in his career. Not too long ago Kyrie Irving was on his way to anchoring the Boston Celtics to the best record in the league the 2017-2018 campaign, unfortunately Kyrie Irving went down with a season ending injury and Jayson Tatum was forced to step up along with Terry Rozier,Jaylen Brown,and Marcus Morris. They came within 1 win of making the NBA Finals but fell at the hands of LeBron James in a Game 7 in Boston where Boston couldn’t buy a three pointer in the last 5 minutes of the game. The following season Kyrie Irving comes back healthy and the Boston Celtics were eliminated in the second round by Giannis Antetokoumpo’s MIlwaukee Bucks, I forgot to mention prized free agent acquisition Gordon Hayward went down the previous season and was available in the second round against the Milwaukee Bucks but lacks of chemistry hampered the Boston Celtics against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The 2019-2020 campaign the Boston Celtics replaced Kyrie Irving with Kemba Walker and the chemistry issues were a thing of the past as Terry Rozier went over to the Charlotte Hornets and Kyrie Irving joined Kevin Durant in Brooklyn. The Boston Celtics were able to eliminate the Ben Simmons less Philadelphia Sixers in the first round and a feisty Toronto Raptors looking to repeat without Kawhi Leonard but fell short at the hands of the surging Miami Heat whom took the basketball world by surprise in the bubble. I foresaw the Miami Heat making the NBA Finals after seeing how competitive they were in a game versus the Milwaukee Bucks in which Jimmy Butler was absent for the MIami Heat, with the addition of Jimmy Butler I knew they were on their way to the 2020 NBA Finals. Back to Jayson Tatum though, I came away disappointed with him in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat as I thought he was ready to introduce himself to the NBA as the league’s new rising superstar but he was not able to deliver.
Looking at the Boston Celtics this season they have been hampered by injuries to Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart but the Boston Celtics’s fate rest in the hands of Jayson Tatum ultimately. I credit Jaylen Brown for taking his game to the next level as he is now an all-around scorer and has blossomed into an all-star but Jayson Tatum is the franchise player of the Boston Celtics as Danny Ainge compensated him as just that after awarding him with a 5 year $163 million dollar contract extension. We can speak of Kemba Walker’s struggles in the bubble last season and how much better he could perform this season in the playoffs or expect more production from the bench this season after signing Jeff Teague to bolster but if Jayson Tatum does not perform like the superstar he was payed to be the Boston Celtics won’t be reaching the NBA Finals anytime soon. I watched LeBron James reach the NBA Finals at the age of 22 with a far inferior roster, I also watched Kobe Bryant in the middle of a 3-peat at the age of 22 as a sidekick to Shaquille O’Neal in the early 2000’s so there are no excuses for Jayson Tatum any longer.
To see Danny Ainge claim the Boston Celtics don’t have a roster capable of competing for a championship should motivate Jayson Tatum to take his game to the next level, his numbers are nothing short of spectacular as he is averaging 27 points per game 7 rebounds per game and close to 5 assists per game but ultimately superstars are judged based off how they perform come playoff time, just ask Dominique Wilkins who had a stellar career but is never spoken about when it comes to the all-time greats because he never won in Atlanta his whole career. Making the NBA Finals over the next few years will be infinitely harder for Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics as the Brooklyn Nets have put together a 3 headed monster which composes of arguably the 3 best scorers in the game at the moment in Kyrie Irving,James Harden,and Kevin Durant but we all know basketball is a team game and despite the Brooklyn Nets having elite talent on the offensive end if Jayson Tatum can step up in the playoffs the Boston Celtics could have a chance.
To conclude I hate to see rumors of players on the Boston Celtics tuning out on Brad Stevens because Brad Stevens is one of the best coaches in the league at the moment and runs a well ran system on both sides of the floor but it is up to Jayson Tatum to decide the fate of his career. Does he want to be recognized as a future Boston legend like Larry Bird or settle for being a fringe hall-of-famer like Paul Pierce? Since watching Jayson Tatum at Duke I felt he possessed that IT factor and he has taken his lumps in the playoffs early in his career but it’s time to get over that hump, I am not asking Jayson Tatum to carry the Boston Celtics to championship this season but I am expecting him to play big in the 2021 NBA Playoffs and carry the Boston Celtics to at least the Eastern Conference Finals this season. Everyone is wondering what and who will stop Kevin Durant’s super=team in Brooklyn, if you want an answer it’s number 0 donning Boston Celtics green till next time.