The Celtics had their win streak halted at six games Tuesday night, but there still were some positive takeaways from Boston’s 106-102 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Chief among these bright spots was the play of Jayson Tatum, who had an impressive night with 20 points. The 20-year-old also knocked down three baskets from beyond the arc, boosting his season total to 102 3-pointers — a new franchise rookie record.
It would have been tough to imagine Tatum having this much success in his first NBA season. When Boston drafted the Duke product with the No. 3 overall pick in this past summer’s draft, he was expected to be a valuable bench asset while being groomed playing behind Gordon Hayward. But in wake of certain events, Tatum’s role steadily has increased as the season has progressed.
The 3-point feat wasn’t the only personal accolade Tatum took hold of Tuesday night. With Terry Rozier sidelined against the Bucks with an ankle injury, Tatum became the only Celtics player to play in every game thus far this season. And with five games remaining on the regular-season schedule, it’s highly likely the young forward will play a full 82-game slate in his debut campaign.
The Celtics will look for Tatum to continue to exceed expectations once the postseason rolls around. With Kyrie Irving’s injury status still up in the air, the C’s will need the rest of their starters to elevate their game if they have any hope of making a deep run. Tatum hasn’t shied away from the moment all season, so if that’s any indication, Boston likely won’t have to worry about him elevating his game when the stakes are higher.
Here are some other notes from Celtics-Bucks:
— Shane Larkin joined Rozier on the inactive list with an illness, paving the way for Kadeem Allen to make his first start of the season. The rookie guard scored two points and dished out two assists in 22 minutes of action.
— Tatum has scored 20 or more points in five of his last eight games.
— Greg Monroe nearly notched a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.
— Boston can cut the Toronto Raptors’ lead atop the Eastern Conference to one game with a win over their Atlantic Division rival at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night.