Celtics Writer Names Most Important Aspect Of Boston’s 2019-20 Season


Mar 27, 2020

The Boston Celtics’ rise will continue, provided Jayson Tatum’s also does.

That’s the conclusion The Athletic’s Jay King came to last week when he named the Celtics forward’s growth into an NBA superstar as the most important aspect of Boston’s 2019-20 season to date. Tatum was averaging career highs in minutes, points, rebounds, blocks and steals and was the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Month when the NBA suspended its season earlier this month due to coronavirus concerns. Tatum’s emergence is the most critical of the positive lessons King derived from the first five months of Celtics basketball this season.

“Gordon Hayward looks healthy again,” King wrote. “Jaylen Brown has made obvious improvements. Kemba Walker fit right in from Day 1. The Celtics have had a lot go right for them. Nothing is more important than Jayson Tatum’s rise. As a two-way wing learning when and where to pick his spots, he looks like he should challenge for All-NBA berths for a long time to come. That changes the Celtics’ potential.”

Most NBA prognosticators tipped the Celtics to struggle this season, but they largely have exceeded expectations. Boston was 43-21 and in third place in the Eastern Conference standings March 11 when the NBA decided to suspended its season indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tatum, who has posted 23.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, has been the key to the Celtics’ success, particularly in light of the injuries that sidelined Walker, Hayward, Brown and Marcus Smart and others at various points in the campaign.

When the NBA returns to action, Tatum likely will do so as the Celtics’ “alpha,” and the team just might be ready to contend for championships in the short, medium and long terms.

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Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images
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