Jayson Tatum comes alive in the fourth quarter...he guesses so

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Jayson Tatum comes alive in the fourth quarter...he guesses so

Post by bobheckler on Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:59 am


Jayson Tatum comes alive in the fourth quarter...he guesses so

By: Jared Weiss | 4 hours ago

The Celtics have a clear closer on their roster in Kyrie Irving. But as he missed Sunday’s game for a mask fitting, Brad Stevens had to look elsewhere.

With the game on the line, yet again, Stevens went to Jayson Tatum. Good call.

Tatum attacked what could be loosely termed a triple team and saw the relatively diminutive Fred VanVleet as the lone man in front of him. Rather than pull up short or try to pass out, Tatum continued to attack, flipping a perfect finger roll over him.

“Yeah just playing off instinct and trying to find a way to get a shot off,” Tatum said when asked what he read on this play.

It gave the Celtics a crucial two-possession lead in crunch time, which they would eventually nearly blow. But Tatum continued to confirm that he is a go-to player, just a month into the 19-year-old’s career.

“He’s always been a guy that’s been wired to make plays and to score the ball, so it’s not a huge surprise that he feels comfortable in those moments,” Stevens said. “But in the last couple of games, and specifically Friday night, we really needed him to make those plays. Today he was playing more against close-outs because other people were drawing the attention instead of just individual isolation plays. And he took advantage of that.”

Asked for an eloquent response to Stevens, Tatum was posed with the question: “Are you comfortable in crunch time?”

“Uhh…yeah,” Tatum said. “I guess so.”

The more credit lauded at Tatum, the more he shyly bats it away. He conducts his interviews staring to the other side of the room. He looks uncomfortable in front of microphones and cameras.

Yet on the court, especially in crunch time, he is in full control.

“I think that’s where Jayson comes alive,” Jaylen Brown said. “A lot of players on this team come alive in the fourth quarter, and Jayson is one of them. When the game is on the line is when we perform the best, and Jayson is one of those type of players that you give him the ball in the clutch, he can make something happen. Even in summer league he was making shots like that, just he’s beyond his years, and he’s going to continue to get better.”

Tatum is feeling out his opportunities and making the right decision most of the time.

“It’s just matchups. Sometimes when guys get a paint touch and kick it out and the defense is on their heels,” Tatum said. “That’s a sign that it’s a good time to attack, not always for your own shot but another paint threat.”

He had his moment and attacked it perfectly. He has been called for plenty of offensive fouls this season, unsurprising for an aggressively driving rookie. But he made the play in perfect form Sunday and there will be plenty more to come.



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Re: Jayson Tatum comes alive in the fourth quarter...he guesses so

Post by dboss on Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:37 pm

It is kind of hard to believe that the second best closer on this team may very well be Jason Tatum. 19 year old players are not the ones you would rely on to get you a basket. JT is an old school player living in a 19 year old body. Tremendous footwork, great touch from outside or at the rim, long and athletic with a quite confidence that speaks volumes.

I have been lobbying for the Celtics to get him the ball more.

In yesterday's game we were heading down the stretch and the offense set up a post up for Marcus. Marcus put in a lot of good work during the game despite the ill advised 3 point airball. However, I do not want to see Marcus in the role as a closer. He is not that guy.

I think that Stevens may still be a little reluctant to put too much on Jason but I think he may be ready for more responsibilities.

The Celtics would be well served to get Tatum the ball more during the game and he should be a high priority option when we need to score a basket.


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