Veteran NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith backed Jayson Tatum after his poor performance for the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. Smith brought out examples of legends, Isiah Thomas and Larry Bird, who also had unforgettable debuts on the biggest stage.
He pointed to Jayson Tatum’s stats, but also said the 24-year-old has a lot more to learn in his career. Aside from the final, the forward had a stellar campaign after the season.
However, he couldn’t give his best against an experienced Golden State Warriors team. Speaking of him in “Stephen A’s World,” the analyst said:
“There’s no way he’s supposed to get all this heat, all but some of it, of course. Now, Jayson Tatum underperformed in the final, did he disappear on the big stage? No doubt y” all, no doubt. Shot just 31.6% on two runs in the series, the worst of any player with at least 75 field goals in the last 60 finals.
“And that’s damn bad, that’s bad, he also had a record 100 turnovers this post season, that’s really bad. But there’s no way to bury this kid right now.”
Jayson Tatum averaged 21.5 PPG, 7.0 APG and 6.8 RPG in six games against the Warriors. These may seem like good numbers, but they weren’t great, by his standards. The 24-year-old is great from the mid-range. But the Dubs did a good job of forcing him hard shots and this prevented him from making any impact.
He was criticized for not having a good performance. However, Stephen A. Smith believes in a bright future for the Celtics forward. Speaking further of him, Smith said:
“Remember in the first final of Larry Bird, he scored eight points in two different games, in the first final of Isaiah Thomas he had two games with only 10 points, another game with seven turnovers and how did they all come out big have growing pains.
“I’m not ready to say that Jayson Tatum is a player close to their level, but he’s only 24 6-9 with a mid-range game, all those things, he has time to get into the look in the mirror and think about this, he can grow and get better.”
Is Jayson Tatum a superstar in the league?
Jayson Tatum is one of the best young talents in the NBA. There were a lot of expectations for him in the final. While he didn’t give his best, there’s no denying that the 24-year-old is a certified talent.
His ability to score from the mid-range and reach the basket is what makes him special. Jayson Tatum is also developing into a great defensive talent. The Celtics have a young core and it looks like Tatum can battle them again for a championship.
Entering the sixth season of his NBA career, the youngster will be looking for a few more aspects of his game.
He hasn’t been careful with the ball and that’s why he got a lot of turnovers in the play-offs. Many questions were asked about his superstar status after a dismal run in the NBA Finals.
However, he will aim to come back stronger next season and cement his place as a superstar.