Category Archives: Jayson Tatum

Recap: Celtics beat Knicks as Kyrie miraculously doesn't change teams

In a nutshell
Remember when Madison Square Garden was lively and exciting? Neither do I! It was a slow, sluggish win after a wild day of basketball news. Just about every regular rotation player for the Celtics had a solid game against a Knicks team that was ravaged by a blockbuster mid-week trade. Final score: Celtics 113, Knicks 99.
What went right

Gordon Hayward (14 points, 5-8 shooting) threw down a STRONG alley-oop in the first quarter. It was a pretty lame 12 minutes otherwise, so it was nice to see some energy injected into the game. Jaylen Brown (11 points, 5-12 shooting) had a nice fast break dunk as well. Boston led 25-20 at the end of the quarter after trailing 13-4 early. It was a 56-47 lead at halftime.
Boston’s offense has undergone two notable changes in the recent weeks: 1) More cuts to the basket. 2) More drives to the basket. Jayson Tatum (13 points, 6-15 shooting) drove the ball aggressively throughout the first half, and Kyrie Irving (23 points, 9-20 shooting) made the most of an off-ball opportunity with a cut behind an unsuspecting defender. The NBA is in a three-point revolution, but points are still points and they’ll add up quickly if you can score them uncontested at the rim.

What went wrong

Should I be annoyed that the Celtics played down to the competition? As a Celtics fan, I fully understand the power of unproven players teaming up under unlikely circumstances to topple a formidable opponent. Regardless, this game was a little too sloppy. The Celtics have been pretty mediocre on the road all season – especially against bad teams – so I guess I can just be satisfied with the win.
Terry Rozier posted a 2-9 shooting night while getting cooked on defense. The Celtics have hit a nice stride where they can win games comfortably when everybody isn’t playing their best now that Brown and Hayward have started to come around, but I’m not too excited about Rozier slumping against the worst roster the Celtics have played against all season.

What the hell
Well, the pre-game media circus was really something, huh? I’m amazed at how much BS you can spoon feed people before they check what they’re eating. You’re telling me something happened between the Toronto game (where Kyrie grabbed his jersey and pointed aggressively at the “BOSTON” stitching) and now that made him want to leave? If you buy into misleading information that easily, then I have a border wall to sell you. I’ll throw in a DeMar DeRozan Lakers jersey for free.
Highlights

Terry throws it up & HAYWARD SLAMS IT DOWN (@AAANe_MAnews) #AAANortheast pic.twitter.com/3nqsjYmYSC
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) February 2, 2019

Jaylen Brown with the breakaway slam (@AAANe_MAnews) #AAANortheast pic.twitter.com/r12yMoxiSS
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) February 2, 2019

Jaylen Brown steal + one-handed slam (@AAANe_MAnews) #AAANortheast pic.twitter.com/UKc05fjgBm
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) February 2, 2019

Box score


Report: Anthony Davis set on playing for the Lakers but Celtics remain fearless in pursuit

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Zach Lowe, and Brian Windhorst unloaded a whale of an article today about on the Anthony Davis trade market.
I’m going to pull out the major excerpts. First, Pelicans GM Dell Demps is pissed:
As the NBA trade deadline looms within a week, the Lakers‘ immediate pursuit of All-Star forward Anthony Davis is fraught with obstacles — including the fact that New Orleans Pelicans general manager Dell Demps has yet to return a call to Lakers GM Rob Pelinka, league sources told ESPN.

If Davis wants to be a Laker, the Pelicans’ mantra so far is simply: Feel free to join L.A. as a free agent in 2020 and potentially punt on the 2019-20 season — when James will turn 35 — to keep the requisite cap space open.
Boom! Take that, Rich Paul. I think Paul and LeBron may have underestimated AD’s value as a one-year rental when they hatched this exit plan. Anthony Davis might just help another team pursue a championship next season while LeBron ages and the Lakers sit on their collective thumbs.
There’s more nonsense about Kyrie’s future in Boston:
The stance of Davis and his camp toward Boston is linked to their view of Kyrie Irving‘s future, sources said. Davis and his camp no longer believe that Irving is a sure bet to re-sign with the Celtics this summer, and that’s the primary reason they insist on clumping Boston with a similar message to the 28 other teams: Buyer beware on a trade for Davis.
If you’re shaky on Kyrie staying in Boston, I recommend you read this article by Steve Bulpett and pay particular attention to the final two paragraphs.
Back to AD, where Danny Ainge has a plan for everything:
Boston is remaining outwardly fearless in its pursuit of Davis, with word delivered to New Orleans: Hold on to Davis past the trade deadline, get into the offseason and we’re armed to give you the best possible return on this generational talent.
Boston remains confident in Irving re-signing, even if the Celtics don’t acquire Davis before free agency. But whatever happens between now and then, whatever issues might threaten to topple Irving’s preseason commitment to an extension, the Celtics believe the acquisition of Davis will soothe them all. Boston believes this: Getting Davis probably clinches an Irving commitment.
For now, the Celtics are unconvinced that Davis would be willing to walk out on a championship core with Boston for the Lakers. Boston has done a tremendous amount of research on Davis, especially intense in the past 18 months, league sources said.
I refuse to believe Kyrie would walk away knowing that AD is coming through the door.
What would it take to get AD? The motherload, of course. But naturally, Ainge is aiming to keep Jayson Tatum:
The most pressing question for the Celtics is whether they could acquire Davis without including Jayson Tatum in the deal. If the Celtics get the chance, Boston will be able to offer any or all of the following: Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier (though Rozier would have to agree to a sign-and-trade, raising thorny cap complications), its own first-round picks, Sacramento’s first-round pick, a Memphis future first-round pick (top-eight protected this season, top-six protected in 2020, and unprotected in 2021) and a lottery-protected LA Clippers first-rounder that converts to a 2022 second-round pick if the Clippers miss the playoffs both this season and next.
Holy crap that’s a lot of assets. At this point, I’ll be happy if the Celtics can keep Jaylen or Jayson.
Meanwhile, NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Mannix and ESPN’s Bobby Marks like the Celtics chances:
Chris Mannix said Wednesday on NBC Sports Boston the Celtics’ chances of acquiring the Pelicans forward in a trade will soar to “90 percent” if New Orleans doesn’t move him before the Feb. 7 NBA trade deadline.
Where does that leave the Los Angeles Lakers, who may be Boston’s primary competition for Davis? Former NBA front office executive Bobby Marks puts the Lakers’ chances of landing the Pelicans big man at “one percent.” 
LOL, so you’re saying there’s a chance?


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Recap: Celtics take chainsaw through Hawks, earn much-needed win

IN A NUTSHELL:
The Boston Celtics needed a win badly—for a morale boost, I’m sure, but Kyrie “Fuck Thanksgiving” Irving also wanted to shut the drama-thirsty media up. Unsurprisingly, the Boston pack* has begun salivating, what with our heroes at a PALTRY 9-9 record! My LORD! It’s almost like there have been 18 games this season and 64 of them remain!!!
But seriously: The Cs spent most of this game well in control, and even their few moments of laziness didn’t undo their progress as it had in previous instances. Things were clicking from the starters to the bench, particularly Kyrie, Jayson Tatum, and Aron Baynes, whose 16 points led all Boston scorers in a 114-96 win.
WHAT WENT RIGHT:
It sure does help to be playing the worst-ranked defense in the NBA when you need a win. (This is by opponent points allowed per game, according to Basketball Reference; Atlanta is 25th in defensive rating.) But the Boston offense also flowed effortlessly and led to considerable more wide-open shots, ones reasonably worth taking, in the first half than the 20 they made.
After some slacking in the second quarter (see below), the third frame was another bloodbath, Celtic players tearing through Hawks like Leatherface and some unlucky teenagers. Atlanta is a young team, but even their vets like Dewayne Dedmon weren’t much help. Bird blood everywhere…for most of the quarter. Some sloppiness at Q3’s end (again, see below). But after a quick series of mini-runs early in the 4th, the Celtics established enough of a cushion to leave everything in the hands of the bench and seal the W.
On a more granular level—

Taking two of the Hawks best players—Trae Young and Taurean Prince—out of the equation during the first half was huge; they got 2 and 0 points, respectively. Young’s biggest threat isn’t his scoring, of course, but he only made 2 assists as well.
With Horford out, Aron Baynes served as roll man on P&Rs initiated by Kyrie and acquitted himself quite well, while remaining an ironclad defensive presence and a meaningful threat from deep. (Before Baynes was a Celtic, I thought he was a solid, kinda underrated bench big for the Spurs and Pistons, but I didn’t ever envision typing a sentence including the phrases “Aron Baynes” and “meaningful threat from deep.”)
Gordon Hayward continued his run of considerable effectiveness as the point wing/microwave scorer for the bench dudes. His other talents ensure he’s more valuable overall than the average microwave scorer.
MOAR *clap* TIMELORD *clap* BLOCKS *clap* PLZ. Rob Williams is still raw in a lot of ways, but almost all of his (limited) minutes have been electric. This is great to see for a rookie whose work ethic was questioned, perhaps unfairly, after the draft: He’s clearly making the most of the tick he’s given.

WHAT WENT WRONG:

After the slaughterhouse 45-point first quarter, some regression was only natural. Letting the Hawks off the hook a few times is natural. Letting them outscore you in a quarter (22-16) isn’t, and I say that as someone who thinks Atlanta is much friskier than their abysmal current record indicates. When you’re in a funk, as Boston has been in recent games, you simply don’t get to take quarters off. Four made field goals in,,,,,is bad.
The lackadaisical approach returned near the end of Q3, but not as badly as in the previous quarter. Turnovers were the main devil here—

When push comes to shove, though, there are few if any individual major screw-ups to cite here. And for whatever mistakes they did make, the Cs still spent most of this game up 20-plus.
WHAT THE HELL:
Couple of funny things—

Absurd mechanical mishaps are on my personal list of idiosyncratic NBA things, and the shot-clock wankery early in the first quarter made me chuckle. IS IT 14? 24? 5?
Not sure how I feel about SMARF with the dreads. I’d gotten used to the nappy, blond-streaked hightop fade.
Theis’s new hair, meanwhile, remains fucking horrible.

GREEN FIRE HIGHLIGHTS (These are all dunks. I’ll just say it in advance.)
ROZIER SMASH:

Smart goes behind the back to Rozier for the JAM! #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes pic.twitter.com/2LYTLFJjPq
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 24, 2018

TATUM SMASH:

Tatum with the MONSTER putback! #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes pic.twitter.com/SBxlRJAbO3
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 24, 2018

TIMELORD SMASH!!!!!

#SunLifeDunk4Diabetes pic.twitter.com/Lojpfzoveq
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 24, 2018

Box score
*Rhymes with the word “pee” plus the name of an early Nelly hit, though I’m sure Danshaughnessyfromendlessbitching has also said some dumb things.


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#CeltKicks: Day of the Dead, Tatum changes shoes

Kyrie Irving debuted a Halloween themed Kyrie 4 last night in Oklahoma City, taking to the court in the “Day of the Dead” colorway.
© Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Here’s a closer look.

You can these for $130 at SNKRS or exclusively at Footlocker stores at the Cambridgeside Galleria, Dudley Street, Washington Street, or the Square One Mall in Saugus in the Boston area.
Use Footlocker’s launch locator for drops in your area.
Meanwhile Jayson Tatum rocked two pairs of kicks last night, coming out of the locker room in Cinnamon Toast Crunch Kyrie 4’s…

@celtics iyi bir geri dönüş yaptı. Jayson Tatum 24 sayı ile maçın skorer ismi oldu#CUsRise⁠ ⁠ 101 | #ThunderUp⁠ ⁠ 95
Marcus Morris: 21 Sayı, 10 Ribaund, 4 3LukAl Horford: 19 Sayı,9Rib 3 3LukPaul George: 22 Sayı,8 RibRussell Westbrook: 13 Sayı,15 Rİb, 8 AST#KiaTipOff18 pic.twitter.com/yEbUcwXgdj
— NBA Touch (@nbatouch) October 26, 2018

And then switching to the Kobe AD Exodus at halftime.

Jayson Tatum’s 2018-2019 season body count is already up to 3 (counting the Embiid shake, staredown, and Wink from game 1) pic.twitter.com/qfY9lIa6EC
— Justin Haney (@jhaney1125) October 26, 2018

Jayson Tatum’s #NBAKicks! pic.twitter.com/cB5ohAnA0E
— Basketball Sneakers (@HotHotSneakers) October 26, 2018

Good luck finding those if you want them. You’re going to have to search the secondary market for both of those.


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Recap: Celtics overcome abysmal first half to triumph in OKC

As of this evening, according to Basketball Reference, the Boston Celtics lead the NBA in defensive rating per 100 possessions and opponent points allowed per game. They are also dead last in in offensive rating per 100 and second to last in points per game. Their 2-2 record is solely based on defensive proficiency—and, in the Knicks game, a fair bit of luck. The Orlando freaking Magic torched them worse than the Raptors did, and in the first quarter of this contest vs. OKC, it looked like more of the same. Only by virtue of defense were the Thunder up by teens rather than 20-plus.
Should we be worried about this? I’m not worried, this is f—

I mean, it is fine. This is the fifth game of the season. Just because the NBA year starts in mid-October now doesn’t make any panic occurring right now less unearned. Right? Totally. Look at this pretty dunk:

[email protected] throws it down to end the first pic.twitter.com/thAaVjqBQJ
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 26, 2018

They ended Q1 on a solid 8-0 run and they’ve kept it within the margin of error so far in the sec—

OK, this is starting to get bad. The shots still aren’t going in; Kyrie looks like he might be feeling a tidbit of knee pain and just missed consecutive free throws, which never happens; GH isn’t even trying to shoot, though he’s rebounding reasonably and putting in serious defensive effort; Uncle Al is fouling a ton and looks kind of tired. Also Jaylen Brown’s rough start to the season might be troubling me more than anything else with this team. Only Tatum is keeping the Celtics even halfway alive. Boston is down 16 at the half—50-34 Oklahoma City—and shooting 0-11 from de—

At least Westbrook is also shooting poorly, though he basically always does that and it didn’t stop him from winning the 2017 MVP over Point Harden and God Disguised as Kawhi Leonard, because triple-doubles though—
ANYWAY. IT’S COOL EVERYONE THAT’S WHY BASKETBALL GAMES COMPRISE FOUR QUARTERS NOT TWO.
And then, with all the sudden orgastic joy of Sir Galahad riding suddenly into the kingdom to bring peace and prosperity amid grim horrors and goat-demons named Alex Abrines, the three-pointers came. Eight in number for the quarter, beautiful as the night, terrible as the moon. Westbrook barely has more points than Stevenadamwhodrinks69beers (ask @HebertofRiffs about it) and is shooting with far less efficiency. The Celtics would, when the smoke cleared, have scored more points in the third quarter (40) than they did in the first half (34). Horford hit three triples en route to 19 in the game while Tatum nailed fadeaway after layup after free throw without seeming to attract much attention. I’m not sure quite why, but it felt like Horford and Marcus Morris were drawing defenses in more, especially the latter due to his ISO-heavy tendencies. (Tatum’s biggest highlight play came in the quagmire of the first half; more on that later.) For approximately 20 seconds, they had a two-point lead, but they were most definitely not out of the woods.
If Boston were to end up losing this game, it wouldn’t have been the worst thing. They proved they hadn’t lost their ability to regroup after messing up, something that didn’t look within their repertoire in the Orlando game. PROCESS OVER RESULTS KAIZEEEEEEEEEN. During most of the fourth, it looked like we were heading for what a smart coach—Popovich, Stevens, Spoelstra, Doc, Gentry, Kerr, Dwane Casey in the regular season—considers an instructive loss and a lesser or more insecure coach—Thibodeau, Brooks, Donovan, Scott Skiles, Dwane Casey during the playoffs—obsesses over as one does as personal slight. And given how far we’d come from that putrid first half, that would’ve been OK.
Then this happened.

TIE GAME. pic.twitter.com/29y5r1EwTB
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 26, 2018

That’s why Danny brought him here, and paid what it cost to do so. That’s why he will in all likelihood pay Kyrie the five-year, $188 million max. He made one of the most famous three-point shots in NBA history, and may well make several more of massive importance. He had the aptitude and confidence to note how OKC started to tear itself apart—once again failing to run an organized offense in deference to Russell Westbrook on full-tilt hubris—and shred a defense for a gorgeous floater.
Credit where due to the actual go-ahead shot, though:

Marcus Morris = CLUTCH! #CUsRise pic.twitter.com/uj9qxxTULv
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 26, 2018

Free throws by Morris and Horford put icing on the cake, 101-96. Tatum kept them from ruin during the game and the veterans sealed it, but the whole squad had to recover to ensure the W.
In summation:

“the weak should fear the strong”-Kyrie Irving-1844
— joylesspud (@joylesspud) October 26, 2018

Box score


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#CeltKicks: Boston Celtics debut wild styles in season opener

The NBA really loosened the reigns on what players can wear on the floor. This is as good a time as any to bring back our old CeltKicks feature, which looks at the shoes the guys are wearing on the court.
Kyrie Irving in Kyrie 4 PE
Thin unnamed Kyrie 4 PE has a lot going on, including the all-seeing eye, a peace sign, and an eagle… which appears to be a nod to his Native American heritage. The gold swoosh pops. I’m a huge fan of gold along with the green and white. I’m a total sucker for that combination.

Jaylen Brown in Adidas TMac 3 All Stars

Jaylen spent part of the summer working out with Tracy McGrady. Wearing his All Star kicks to start the season feels like a nice shout out and thank you.
Jaylen Brown in NikeiD PG2 “Coloring Book”

As I posted yesterday, these shoes imagine what they’d look like if his 10 month old son colored them. Notice the heart and the “Deuce,” his nickname for his son, in the first picture. His son’s initials are also on the inside of the tongue.
Marcus Smart in Adidas Dame 4’s

Smart honored his late mother by adding the date down the back of his shoes.
Terry Rozier in Puma Clyde Court Disrupts

Terry Rozier is one of the massive influx of new Puma athletes taking to the court in the Clyde Court Disrupt. I’m a fan of Puma casual lifestyle shoes. I have some Clydes and Suedes. I’m not 100% sold on their basketball shoes but I’ve also seen worse.
Gordon Hayward in Anta GH Signatures

Hayward just left Nike for Anta (Nike had the right to match, but didn’t), and he debuted an as-yet unnamed signature shoe. We see an interlocked GH logo. This feels very similar to what Anta’s other big star, Klay Thompson, is wearing.
© Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
We’ll see where they go with these. White-on-white is the sneaker version of a craft brewer’s IPA. It’s kind of hard to screw it up. While I’m a fan of white-on-white in general, I’d like to see where they go creatively
All photos (unless otherwise noted): © Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports


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