Jayson Tatum carved his name in the Boston Celtics’ record books on Wednesday afternoon, becoming the youngest player in franchise history to achieve All-NBA status by winning third-team honors.
Tatum, 22 years old and 163 days old on the last day of the 2019-20 regular season, joined Ed Macauley, who was 22 years old and 361 days old when he won All-NBA first team honors in 1951, in as long as only the actors in the history of the organization to obtain such recognition before turning 23 years old.
The 2019-20 campaign has been a double-breakout season for Tatum, who emerged as an All-Star in the first half of the season, before climbing to superstar in the second half and into the Playoffs. . He led Boston in scoring, averaging 23.0 points per game, while posting career-high rebounds (7.0 per game), assists (3.0 per game), steals (1 , 4 per game) and in blocks (0.9 per game).
The versatile wing also achieved 189 3 points in 66 games, which would have put it on pace at 235 triples had the regular season not been shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would have placed him just 10 points within 3 points of the Isaiah Thomas one-season franchise record set in the 2016-17 season.
One of the main factors that helped fuel Tatum’s breakout season was the growth in his basketball IQ. As he continued to improve over the season, opposing teams began to defend him more aggressively. However, he has learned to read and react to any type of defense thrown at him.
“He can read any situation,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said on Monday, just two days before Tatum’s All-NBA recognition became official. “[Opponents] ran and jumped him, they blitzed him, they changed him, they came back on him. They did everything against him. This is where great players are so special because they just know what’s coming. They can read what’s coming. Curveballs don’t ruin them, and they always impact the game in a winning way.
“He has that ability. He’s a super fast learner. He can see something once and learn it and attack it better the next time. He’s just a special player.
Players and coaches across the league have also recognized Tatum’s special abilities throughout the season.
After a career-high 41 points effort against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 23, Tatum was declared an “absolute problem” by Lakers star LeBron James.
Two weeks earlier, ahead of a February 13 game against the LA Clippers in which Tatum would drop 39 points in a double overtime victory, former Celtics head coach and current Clippers coach Doc Rivers reflected. : “Can you imagine in five years what it will be? He’s one of the best players in the league and an All-Star, but we always talk about his youth and how much better he will be. It’s going to be amazing.
Making the third team should only be the start for Tatum, who continued to reach even higher heights during the Playoffs with averages of 25.7 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.3 BPG. and 1.0 SPG. His determination to be the best player possible is unmatched, and there is so much left that the young star is hoping to prove.
“I know what I think I’m capable of and what I’m looking for, so I think that’s the advantage I have for me,” Tatum said on July 17, a week after arriving in the NBA bubble in Florida. “I walk on the floor and I think I’m the best player every night. And I think confidence – I’m sure a lot of guys feel it – but I think that’s the mindset that I take and just knowing that I can do it, and keep pushing it.
As long as Tatum maintains such a state of mind while continuing to develop, the sky will be the limit of what he is able to accomplish.