Point Tatum shines in 2-3 zone in Boston Celtics win over Toronto Raptors

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Point Tatum shines in 2-3 zone in Boston Celtics win over Toronto Raptors

Post by bobheckler on Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:16 pm

https://celticswire.usatoday.com/2018/03/31/point-tatum-shines-in-2-3-zone-in-boston-celtics-win-over-toronto-raptors/




Point Tatum shines in 2-3 zone in Boston Celtics win over Toronto Raptors



By: Jared Weiss | 14 hours ago







Deep inside Jayson Tatum’s convoluted game is a point forward slowly emerging. He has shown he can score in iso matchups with a shocking regularity, regardless of how tightly he is guarded.

But with the Celtics down to just one rotation point guard Saturday night against the Toronto Raptors, Brad Stevens called upon Tatum to run point. He did not disappoint in Boston’s 110-99 win.

“We played him at the one some tonight — which we haven’t done yet — and it allowed us to be really big on the other end of the floor, which was nice,” Stevens said. “But obviously, he’s just a talented guy. He does a lot of good things.”

Tatum takes on a bit of a burden just trying to be an attacker as a wing. But running point is an entirely different ballgame. Not only is he responsible for getting the team into actions, but knowing how the entire play needs to go and improvising when required.

“Trying to remember the plays at the point guard position,” Tatum said of what the biggest challenge of running point can be. “Just using my length and my size, just backing them down. I just try to take care of the ball.”


Tatum ranks 11th in the NBA in points per possession out of the pick-and-roll at 1.009 ppp per Synergy Sports, just behind LeBron James and Otto Porter. His usage isn’t nearly as high, but he’s showing a confidence and craftiness to attack and distribute coming around screens.

“I’ve been playing well lately. We’ve been winning,” Tatum said. “Everyone looks good when you’re winning.”

Stevens says it’s just been more positive progress with Tatum, nothing shocking or out of the ordinary. His usage has increased as players have gone down and he seems more and more like the promising young star he was a few months ago when he was shooting lights out.

“I didn’t see anything necessarily different with him. I just think as he gets more experience, he’s getting better,” Stevens said. “He’s done a great job working in the weight room, doing different things to continue to go through the long season, and he’s really, really starting to peak, I think. It’s been fun to watch.”

Tatum isn’t just growing offensively. He has become a defensive playmaker, especially blocking guards from behind at a surprisingly high clip. Tatum has great hand-eye coordination with a long and balanced stride, allowing him to stay on top of the defender and trail them perfectly.

But Tatum was in a more unique role Saturday, as the Celtics went to a 2-3 zone during the second half once again. When Tatum is at the point and long wings like Abdel Nader are out there, Stevens has opted to put out a high wall of length on the perimeter to prevent dribble penetration and entry passes to bigs.

“Well, when we play those big lineups, with Tatum at the top of that, that’s a pretty good guard at the top of the 2-3 zone, when he puts his arms out,” Stevens said. “We ran it a couple times in the first half with mixed results, but a lot of our issues were late in the clock. It felt like something we could go back to if we needed to, but sometimes it’s really a good move, sometimes they just miss shots.”

It gave Marcus Morris a little deja vu.

“Looked kind of like AAU, when you play 1-3-1 and your tallest guy is out there,” Morris said. “He has very long arms, so he can get into the passing lanes. It’s tough to see over the top of him.”

As Tatum’s growth keeps climbing higher and higher, it really is getting tough to see over him. He’s actually grown an inch since he was drafted and is closer to 6’9″ now that he’s 20. That growth potential just doesn’t seem to have a limit and he’s getting closer to unlocking that next phase of his game.

Now the Celtics just need to figure out how to get away with running zone for the rest of the year.



bob



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Re: Point Tatum shines in 2-3 zone in Boston Celtics win over Toronto Raptors

Post by mrkleen09 on Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:19 pm

Dont see how this kid isnt favorite for Rookie of the Year.
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Re: Point Tatum shines in 2-3 zone in Boston Celtics win over Toronto Raptors

Post by dboss on Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:41 pm

mrkleen09 wrote:Dont see how this kid isnt favorite for Rookie of the Year.
Because there is a guy named Ben Simmons that has also been balling.

I think Tatum is the best among all the rookies because he has the skills to do everything and do it quite well.

I think by next year with added muscle he will be just about unstoppable.  Then give him another year of experience and he will be a candidate to make an all-star team.

He is the most impressive Celtics Rookie since PP.
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Re: Point Tatum shines in 2-3 zone in Boston Celtics win over Toronto Raptors

Post by dboss on Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:46 pm

Also, truth be told Philly would be better off with him than Futlz.  Not because Fultz has been a puzzle but because they already have a young starting PG in Simmons.  

Danny won that deal hands down.  Has to be one of the best moves Danny ever made.  it is an A++
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Re: Point Tatum shines in 2-3 zone in Boston Celtics win over Toronto Raptors

Post by mrkleen09 on Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:56 pm

dboss wrote:
Because there is a guy named Ben Simmons that has also been balling.

I think Tatum is the best among all the rookies because he has the skills to do everything and do it quite well.

I think by next year with added muscle he will be just about unstoppable.  Then give him another year of experience and he will be a candidate to make an all-star team.

He is the most impressive Celtics Rookie since PP.

I may be in the minority, but I dont think it is fair to call Simmons a rookie. For a full year, he had access to NBA level nutritionist, NBA level strength coaches, trainers, NBA level coaching, video review etc etc. The rules allow for it, but I say - first year in the league is a rookie. period.

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Re: Point Tatum shines in 2-3 zone in Boston Celtics win over Toronto Raptors

Post by wideclyde on Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:17 am

mrkleen,

Absolutely a great point about all the "advantages" that Simmons had prior to actually playing his first season as an NBA "rookie". Very much similar (but, probably even better) to a college "red shirt" season that so many college athletes (mostly football) have benefited from.

With that said, and even though I have very much liked Tatum's first season with the Cs, I like the kid from Utah as the rookie of the year. He has led his team as their point guard, has been very, very consistent all season long while Tatum suffered a mid season slump. Utah has been a good team all year much as a result of their rookie point guard's performances and leadership.

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Re: Point Tatum shines in 2-3 zone in Boston Celtics win over Toronto Raptors

Post by mrkleen09 on Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:23 am

I agree that Donovan Mitchell is playing great basketball and is right there in the conversation. I just think Tatum taking a leadership role on a team that was decimated by injuries yet still remains Top 4 in the NBA is even more impressive.
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