Tatum’s 50 a reminder that Boston can compete in any series

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Jaylen Brown wasn’t out there for Boston’s play-in matchup towards Washington after present process wrist surgical procedure per week in the past. Marcus Sensible got here up limping after twisting his ankle. Robert Williams III ultimately exited the sport early within the third quarter after re-aggravating his turf toe.

The Celtics have been the upper seed and thus obtained the benefit of enjoying in entrance of their dwelling followers, however a win towards a red-hot Wizards crew that had gained 15 of its final 20 to climb as much as the eighth seed with a dynamic backcourt enjoying a few of its finest basketball wasn’t assured. It actually didn’t look that means when Washington constructed an eight-point lead late within the second.

However then there was Jayson Tatum, pouring in 23 of his 50 factors within the third quarter to construct Boston a double-digit lead it wouldn’t relinquish en path to a 118-100 victory. His half-century scoring whole got here together with eight rebounds, 4 assists, and two blocks in 40 minutes of motion to formally lock the Celtics right into a playoff spot.

“I needed to get to the playoffs,” Tatum mentioned after the sport. “And I ain’t wanna lose to Brad (Beal) and listen to about it for the remainder of my profession both.”

Tatum’s best talent is his shotmaking potential, and a Wizards protection that always included three or extra guards was perfect in serving to to intensify these items coming from the 6’8’’ wing.

The person typically criticized for his perceived lack of ability or unwillingness to get to the free throw line was an ideal 17-of-17, equally the entire makes of your entire Wizards crew. These simple factors have been a giant purpose the Celtics emerged with a win regardless of capturing simply 39.6 p.c from the sphere as a crew, their first victory all season whereas capturing lower than 40 p.c.

“Particularly within the playoffs, the better a bucket might be, particularly attacking the rim early, it opens up a lot for himself but additionally for us as a crew,” Tristan Thompson mentioned. “For him (Tatum), he had it rolling, he’s a stud. We all know what he can do, so he has to set the tone early for us.”

Superstars stay probably the most precious commodity within the NBA immediately. It’s why buying the companies of a participant like James Harden can justifiably price as much as eight draft picks. Gamers of that caliber are that good with the expertise to swing any sport towards any opponent regardless of who’s on the market with them.

Simply take a look at Stephen Curry, who has spent your entire 2020-21 season defying all that has labored towards him. Klay Thompson’s absence appeared irrelevant at occasions, as was the absence of offensive firepower the Golden State Warriors had beforehand grown accustomed to throughout their championship runs.

So long as Curry’s magnificence was current to cleared the path, the Warriors had an opportunity. They have been 37-26 with Steph within the lineup this season, a .587 win proportion that might rank eighth if stretched over your entire season, and had a top-10 offense with him on the court docket. Such is the worth the league’s main scorer and pantheon shooter can present beneath any set of circumstances.

Tatum isn’t on the extent of the two-time MVP, however he used the play-in event to show that he’s equally able to powering the Celtics when the state of affairs requires it.

It’s the most recent in an extended line of moments which have validated his superstardom this season, from as soon as once more averaging career-highs in factors, rebounds, and assists to outings of fifty and even 60 to deliver Boston victories it in all probability didn’t deserve.

Will that be sufficient to win 4 video games towards a robust Brooklyn Nets crew that took all three common season video games towards Boston with out its Large Three intact? In all probability not. Nevertheless it’s an indicator that Tatum is bound to do all he can to have the Celtics go down swinging and supply some memorable moments alongside the best way.

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