Rookie Jayson Tatum is looking even more effective in a free-flowing NBA offense than he did at Duke. Mike Schmidt of ESPN broke down the first-year forward’s impressive showing with the Celtics thus far, curious as to whether or not what he’s shown is sustainable.
While Tatum has always been known to pull off acrobatic plays on offense, his ability to make quicker decisions and shoot reliably from beyond the arc has helped him thrive in the Celtics offense. Further, his improved defense has only added to his NBA stock.
Credit Tatum for not trying to do much in his rookie campaign, perhaps that’s a benefit of landing in the rotation of a winning team fresh off an Eastern Conference Finals appearance. There are still areas where he could improve, however, including at and around the rim, where he currently falls in the 33rd percentile.
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- When Norman Powell returned from a hip injury, the Raptors tried reinserting him into their second unit. Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes that the third-year forward has thrived coming off the bench. “I think Norman likes that, he’s kind of the star of the show with that second group,” head Dwane Casey said. “He’s done a good job of adapting and going with both groups (but), with Delon Wright out, he’s a natural fit with that group and he’s done a good job.“
- While the Cavaliers may be the team to beat in the conference for now, the Celtics and Sixers are the future of the East, A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston writes. Both teams have impressive lineups as it but boast future assets that can help down the road as well.
- The Sixers have put themselves in an enviable position financially but eventually the day will come that the team has to start clearing contracts in order to pay their young players who are current under rookie contracts. Derek Bodner of The Athletic took a deep dive into the team’s long-term salary cap projections.