Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The two finishes at the end of the game were elite. He went 5-6 in the fourth, scoring 11 points all with less than six minutes to go. Toss in a couple of steals and this is what a superstar is made of. Not only were those finishes strong, the decision to attack was strong as well. Tatum has a fondness for fadeaways and side-step jumpers, but instead of relying on that habit, he put it on the floor and was rewarded for it.
“I thought the other night Kemba really willed us,” Stevens said after the game “I thought tonight that Jayson’s will shone through.”
Added bonus for Tatum: his wild layup with 15 seconds left ended with him sliding across the floor. When Bradley Beal got the ball on the inbounds after that and slipped to turn the ball over, it was that wet spot that caused the turnover. So in a way, Tatum should get a third steal that quarter.
This was a win for all those grumpy old-timers (who, me?) who enjoy blurting out, “attack the basket” with the launch of every three-point shot.
Last night Jayson Tatum followed the “How Superstars Win Games” handbook (copyright 1984) to a tee.
He was aggressive and smart.
Sure, some luck fell into the Celtics’ lap as Brad Beal slipped on a pool of sweat with 12 seconds remaining. But Beal’s downfall began when he hesitated, expecting an immediate foul that never came.
As for the final play, credit the Celtics coaching staff for identifying Washington’s set:
Boston Celtics staff & players recognized and adjusted to the same Wizards play that beat the Nuggets to close out the win: pic.twitter.com/qyO4XgfP38
— Half Court Hoops (@HalfCourtHoops) March 1, 2021
Tatum’s ability to regain position and cover the baseline highlights his great defensive potential. Amazing breakdown by Gibson Pyper.
Related links: Globe – Tatum showed star stuff when it counted | BSJ – Tatum’s decisive destruction of Washington | NBC – Tatum impresses Cs with clutch, will to win | Mass Live – Tatum leads incredible late-game heroics
On Page 2, where Jaylen Brown’s knee flared up.
“He was a little bit sore [Saturday],” Stevens said. “His knee flared up a little bit.”
President of basketball operations Danny Ainge revealed earlier this month that Brown is battling mild tendonitis in the knee. Brown missed the Feb. 5 game against the Clippers and the Feb. 7 game against the Suns due to the issue.
Brown had played in all 11 games since then, and he averaged 36.3 minutes over four last week. He was just 11 for 28 in the last two, causing his field goal percentage to dip below 50 percent for the first time since the season’s opening week.
I wonder if the Celtics will shut down Brown this week (games vs LAC, TOR) and hope the ten days of rest will help the knee. This strategy only works if Brown, first-time all-star, agrees to sit out Sunday’s game in Atlanta.
The rest of the links