Yesterday, the Boston Celtics fell to the Los Angeles Lakers by a final score of 114-112. There was some debate after the game about whether or not the C’s got fleeced by the officiating, but regardless Boston took home the L, their season record to a still impressive 39-17.
It is easily understandable why Celtics fans would be pissed after this loss, but this game in itself was a victory. On the road, without Kemba Walker, Boston was able to compete with LeBron James and the Lakers the entire length of the game. Still, the biggest takeaway from this game has to be one Jayson Tatum.
In the loss Tatum was able to tie his career-high with 41 points on an astounding 60% shooting clip. Oh, and by the way, Tatum only scored 1 point in the opening quarter, meaning he went for 40 in the last three. And during those remaining three quarters, the 21-year-old was something special.
I know that may seem obvious looking at the box score, but if you watched the game Tatum was locked in. He was consistently one of, if not the, best players on the court yesterday, and that includes a group of players such as Anthony Davis, Gordon Hayward, and LeBron James.
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Tatum is about to turn 22-years-old and he has already become the most important player on the Celtics. You can argue Kemba Walker or Jaylen Brown, but Tatum has been the healthiest of the three, while also being the most impactful on both sides of the court: and he keeps getting better.
Jayson Tatum will celebrate his 22nd birthday in two weeks.
Tatum is one of only four players in NBA history to tally at least 3,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 150 made 3PT’s before turning 22.
The other three are:
LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant.
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) February 19, 2020
That is why the Celtics should be happy no matter the outcome of yesterday afternoons game. Tatum took a step back last year after an awesome rookie season. The hype surrounding him died down, and people began to wonder if the Duke product was actually meant for NBA stardom. That is no longer a question, and with Brown, Walker, and Hayward to go along with this young bull, the Celtics are definitely threats to make it out of the Eastern Conference this year and beyond.
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-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)