Jason Tatum of the Celtics is not a superstar (yet

Jason Tatum in the diluted air of the NBA superstar?

Jason Tatum in the diluted air of the NBA superstar?
The image: Getty Images

More than previous seasons, these playoffs have revealed scams disguised as superstars. The list is long – Donovan Mitchell, Zack Lavigne, Jimmy Butler, Carl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker. You can add Jason Tatum to this list. After making a blitzkrieg in the playoffs of the Eastern Conference, his game fell apart in the finals. His .367 shot from the field was embarrassing and barely supported an average of 21.5 ppg. Worse, he shot 31.6 percent of the two. Many thought Tatum had reached the superstar this season. Instead, he fell victim to the defense of Andrew Wiggins. He finished Thursday’s 6-game loss with 13 points on 6 of 18 shots, seven assists, three rebounds and five turnovers.

Let’s not bury the lead here – his 100 total rollers were the most recorded by each player in the post-season history of the NBA. His historical turnaround was best embodied by his trip with 3:32 remaining in game six. After Tatum threw the ball in disappointment. He would finish the match with five turns.

Of course, losing to this three-time Warriors champion team is nothing to be ashamed of. But they stole Game 1. And then took a 2-1 lead in the series, only to lose the series at home in double digits in six games. They lost every two-digit game in this series. And in all this, Tatum, at least the one we were used to, was nowhere to be found. For reference, he made 1-8 for two points in the second half of Game 6. He managed to score just 18 points in the fourth quarter of the series with 24 percent shooting.

It wasn’t just Tatum’s insult that was disturbing. His 25 turns in a series are unacceptable and show a lack of focus and decision making, unheard of for superstars. While Tatum is generally stoic, rarely showing emotion on the court, his result on the court was immature. Too often he tried to get out of the recession by freezing his teammates from offensive smoothness. He did this in games 1 (3-17), 3 (9-23) and 4 (8-23).

Celtics coach Have Udoka’s thoughts on Tatum?

“One thing he’s always done this season is to see a lot of different reflections and understand it,” Udoka said. “He did that in the first few series. That was rude. A very consistent team that did some things to limit it and make others pay. For him, this just keeps growing and he understands that you will see this for the rest of your career. This is just the beginning. “

The fact that Tatum, arguably the Celtics’ best player and field leader, was not the top scorer in the finals is proof of how unprepared he was to bring the team to the biggest stage. Instead, Jaylan Brown led the team to 23.5 ppg. Tatum was the lead scorer for every other series, but he couldn’t step up when he needed it most.

Tatum should be congratulated for turning the Celtics’ season around and bringing them to the finals. It was the best statistical season of his career. It’s hard to win a championship without a conscientious second option from the All Star level. Brown is good, but not great. Without another superstar on the team, the Celtics needed Tatum to perform, as advertised during the regular season, and the playoffs to have a chance at a striker to beat the Warriors. In the 18 playoff games before the finals, he averaged 27 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game, earning an MVP in the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat. There was no reason to expect this impulse not to continue.

Unfortunately, Wiggins stood in his way. The Canadian reclamation project has completed his autobiography for the playoffs with blocked tasks against Jarren Jackson Jr. and Luka Doncic. After a series of exhaustion that slowed Doncic down and ruled him out as a facilitator, Tatum had to look like a barbecue chicken. That doesn’t mean Tatum is a boost. He is simply not at the level of Doncic after the Slavic wunderkind has an average of 32 ppg, 9.2 rpg and 6 pg in the Western Conference finals.

Tatum’s historic suffocation may be the brightest case of fraudulent superstar activity in the 2022 season. And that speaks volumes with Devin Booker’s WCF on the list. But Tatum was always a safer bet when it came to being a man. His poise, maturity and choice of punches made him the closest thing to Kobe Bryant we have in the league. Even Bryant had four balloons at a critical time as a rookie against Utah Jazz in the 1997 Western Conference semifinals.

The 24-year-old Tatum has been in the league for five seasons and is getting better every year, increasing points, assists and rebounds every year. He participated in three consecutive All-Star games and, even more impressively, in the first All-NBA team this year. Tatum will have his turn. It’s just that he’s not there yet. This type of loss in the playoffs eats the soul of future champions. Ask Curry, Thompson and Green, who lost to Mark Jackson before winning against Steve Kerr. Tatum will return to the finals in the near future. The hope is that he will return as a superstar.

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