First of all, relax. I am not saying that Jayson Tatum deserves to be an All-Star. He does not have the numbers, and there are others that should get the nod.
What I am saying is that Tatum is having an unheard of rookie season and deserves more consideration. His initial numbers do not jump off the board. The former Duke Blue Devil is averaging 13.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He only takes 9.4 shots per game.
People, look past surface statistics and dig a little deeper.
Jayson Tatum's 5.1 win shares put him in elite territory in the pantheon of all-time NBA rookies. Only trails Michael Jordan for highest EVER. To add context, consider other names in the top 10: Magic, Duncan, CP3, Kawhi, Jokic. Oh, one more thing: Tatum is 19 years old. #Celtics
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) January 17, 2018
Jayson Tatum also leads the NBA in 3-point shooting this season at 46 percent. Pretty impressive, but let’s go even further. Tatum has a quantified shooter impact of 15.4 percent, per Second Spectrum shooting data in ESPN’s Chris Forsberg’s story. That means he shoots 15.4 percent better on threes than the average player in similar situations. Not too shabby for someone who won’t turn 20 years old until March.
There is not a shot on the floor that Tatum cannot hit. He has shown the ability to slash, using his ball-handling and length to get to the hole.
Remember this one from the rook?
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 16, 2018
When there isn’t a clear path to the basket, Tatum has no problem creating his own space and shooting from mid-range.
— NBA (@NBA) January 17, 2018
He’s so smooth. He seems to never panic and always makes the right decision. He has an uncanny ability to just look comfortable. His 3-point stroke has been a huge success this season, and when you watch him shoot it’s not hard to see why.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 7, 2018
He’s got this unwavering confidence that’s hard to miss. He’s always taking the right shot because he can make anything he takes. His high release and good awareness seem to always give him space to shoot. Watch how he is able to create separation on Joel Embiid, who is a great defender.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 11, 2018
What can’t Tatum do? He has been so impressive offensively it’s easy to forget that he has also been a superb defender. Once again, it all starts with his length, quick feet and athletic frame. Opposing guards are not safe when Tatum is guarding them. Watch poor Wesley Matthews get his lunch money stolen by the rook.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 7, 2017
Love the aggressiveness here. Tatum sees an opportunity to make a play and he makes it. He rarely makes stupid fouls and instead comes out with loose balls. He has also shown the ability to block shots. Yeah, we’re gonna preach length here again. Just look at what he did the entire Brooklyn Nets team.
Jayson Tatum comes up big down the stretch! pic.twitter.com/J59qBGmy6P
— NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) January 7, 2018
What Tatum is able to do night in and night out is make exciting plays. He has the special ability to always make a play extraordinary. The NBA All Star game is full of exciting players and plays. Fans want to see the athletes come out and put on a show. Tatum is showing the world that he can put on a show any given night. He is so much fun to watch.
It’s apparent that he will play in the Rising Stars challenge. He will probably play extremely well. I want to see this kid on the bigger stage.
Tatum is helping the Celtics win now. He’s flashy but efficient, a cold-blooded assassin. While he does not have the initial stats to back up this claim, he has the ability. His usage rate is low (18 percent) but he still makes plays across the board.
Tatum’s superstar potential is gleaming through, and I want to see this teenager play with the big boys. He hasn’t shown fear yet in his young career. Let’s unleash the kid.