Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum has been drawing lots of attention lately and the plaudits have been pouring in.
The 21-year-old is flirting with superstardom in his third year as an NBA player and, following his first All-Star selection, has shown even more improvement, putting in a 41-point effort against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday that prompted LeBron James to brand him a “young King.”
Tatum dropped 36 in a win against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, leaving him with an average of 34.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists in the two games he’s played since the All-Star break. Of course, it’s only two games, but Celtics coach Brad Stevens reckons a much better Tatum came back from Chicago.
“I think he’s really doing a great job of recognizing situations,” Stevens said ahead of the 118-106 win against Portland on Tuesday (via Yahoo Sports). “He’s getting more thrown at him every game and, as you can tell, there’s a hunger to continue to improve. So, I think the best part about this story is he’s had a year worthy of being named an All-Star and he’s gotten better since he was named an All-Star. So, those are usually good signs.”
Tatum is averaging 22.9 points, 2.9 assists and 7.0 rebounds per contest this season, shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from three. He’s thrived in Kemba Walker’s absence as he’s been made to take up a leadership role while the Celtics’ stellar summer acquisition recovers from injury.
The former Duke Blue Devil revealed having picked some pointers up from Chris Paul during All-Star weekend, so maybe the Thunder point guard’s partly responsible for the huge upturn in form.