The Boston Celtics struggled against the Toronto Raptors last Saturday without Jayson Tatum but still eked out a 106-104 win on the road. Boston also lost Marcus Smart, Robert Williams and Derrick White to respective injuries before the game ended.
Tatum previously told the media that president of basketball operations Brad Stevens was aware he was dealing with issues with his fingers and wrist. Fortunately, the three-time All-Star was removed from the injury list before tonight’s game against the Orlando Magic.
“JT’s” availability will be a big boost as Smart, Williams and Malcolm Brogdon have been ruled out. Brogdon isn’t injured but he will not be with the team due to personal reasons.
The matchup against the Magic will be their fourth and last for the season. Orlando holds a 2-1 series lead, including back-to-back victories last Dec 17 and 19.
In that game on Dec. 19, Jayson Tatum didn’t play for personal reasons. He was reportedly absent as he hosted the birthday of his son, Deuce. The Celtics lost both games on their floor to the young Magic, so they will be looking for payback despite being severely undermanned.
Over his past two games versus the Magic, Tatum has averaged 35.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He shot 56.1% from the field, including 33.3% from behind the arc.
Jayson Tatum is becoming the MVP candidate the Boston Celtics hoped he would become
The Boston Celtics have nailed it with the Jayson Tatum pick. Boston gambled and won big in 2017 when they traded the No. 1 pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for the No. 3 spot and draft capital. Philly nabbed Markelle Fultz while the LA Lakers cooperated by bringing in Lonzo Ball.
The Celtics landed Jayson Tatum and it’s turning out to be a franchise-altering decision by then-president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. Right out of the gates, “JT” showed the potential that could make him one of the top 10 players in the NBA.
With the help of Tatum, the Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals in two of his first four years of pro basketball. He has only been improving every year in Boston.
When Kyrie Irving left the Celtics, Jayson Tatum automatically became the franchise's cornerstone. He and Jaylen Brown were the featured superstars who could lead the team to banner #18.
Last season, he finally brought the Cs out of the loaded Eastern Conference by defeating the Miami Heat in seven games. Tatum became, fittingly enough, the inaugural winner of the Larry Bird East Finals MVP.
The championship against the battle-tested Golden Warriors, however, exposed significant chinks in the former Duke superstar’s armor. He had a hard time making quick and decisive decisions, recorded the most turnovers in an NBA Finals series and looked overrated.
He is gunning for no less than a return to the NBA Finals to finish the job this season. Along the way, he has become a legitimate MVP contender. If not for Nikola Jokic putting together another insanely great season, Tatum might be the favorite to win it this season.