Jayson Tatum has had himself quite the season. He's made his first All-Star team in his third season in the league. I think we all can agree that June 22nd, 2017 was a historic day in the Celtics organization. Danny Ainge was so confident that he traded the number one overall pick, let the 76ers take Markelle Fultz, and then drafted Jayson Tatum number three overall. Tatum showed his value again last night against the Clippers with a 39 point performance.
Tatum is taking the league by storm. With that in mind, let's take a look at the rise of Jayson Tatum.
His Steadily Increasing Points Per Game
The sign of progress in the NBA is improvement in points per game. Jayson Tatum's big thing at Duke was that he could find different ways to score. That was very evident in his rookie season with the Celtics. If you remember, this was the 1st year with Kyrie in the picture. Even after Kyrie got injured, Tatum and the Celtics took the then LeBron James led Cavaliers to seven games. And, who could forget that awesome poster dunk on LeBron in the fourth quarter of game seven of the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals?
During his rookie season Tatum averaged 13.9 points per game. Everyone was excited to see what Tatum could become in the future. The next season, his points went up to 15.7 points per game, even with all of the drama that unfolded. Kyrie is gone, and now Tatum and Jaylen Brown have taken big steps forward for the Celtics. Tatum made his first All-Star team while averaging 22.4 points per game while leading the Celtics to a 38-16 record so far this season. Tatum's increased points per game has been spectacular to see, and it can only get better.
The Mamba Mentality
We know how much Jayson Tatum idolized Kobe Bryant. Tatum was even working out with Kobe Bryant in the off-seasons. Now last season I thought it was a terrible idea because it looked like Tatum was forcing bad shot after bad shot. This year though, it seems like Tatum is taking what Kobe taught him and applying it very well. Look at the numbers that Tatum has put up since Kobe passed away (RIP).
You can't tell me that Kobe had nothing to do with Tatum's development. We're seeing more of Kobe in Tatum day by day.
The All-Star Selection
Like I mentioned before, Tatum made his first All-Star team. The best part? He's only just begun. This is the first of many All-Star appearances for Tatum. His numbers have been going up and up. But at the end of the day, it's not about the All-Star appearances. It's about championships, and Tatum is hungry for a championship.
Jayson Tatum's rise is incredible to watch night in and night out. He will only continue to get better and make All-Star team after All-Star team. But that's not what Boston wants at the end of the day. Sure, it's a nice personal award. But this Celtics team wants a championship. With this group and Tatum's continuous rise they're in a good position to contend for one.