20 Under 25 Rankings: #13 - Shaq Mason


20 Under 25 Rankings: #13 - Shaq Mason

TURNS 25: AUGUST 28, 2018

Shaq Mason came to New England as the product of an option attack at Georgia Tech. Though he had a ways to go in picking up a pro-style offense following the 2015 draft, he quickly established himself as one of the most athletic players on the Patriots offensive line.

The fourth-round pick started 12 games last season, including both playoff games, and has followed that up by playing in every game this year. Since Week 3, he hasn't missed a snap at right guard.

Though somewhat undersized at 6-foot-1, Mason's ability to move in space and deliver powerful blocks on defenders of all sizes makes him a real asset in the power running game and in the screen game the Patriots so often employ.

"He’s tough. He can really move. He’s got great agility," offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said earlier this season. "I tell him he’s got built-in leverage because he’s not the tallest guy in the world, so that gives him an added advantage in terms of being underneath people. Ultimately, playing the offensive line position, that’s really the most important thing. You’ve got to win with leverage and pad-level, and Shaq has done a nice job of that."

Mason has improved steadily over the course of two seasons and is under contract for two more. His intelligence and athleticism -- along with the familiarity he has now with right tackle Marcus Cannon and center David Andrews -- should enable him to continue to grow.

Jayson Tatum comes up big vs Paul George, Thunder

Jayson Tatum comes up big vs Paul George, Thunder

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum had another strong performance for the Boston Celtics, doing so against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Paul George, a player Tatum has acknowledged on more than one occasion he has looked up to. 

That admiration didn’t get in the way of Tatum delivering a big-time performance in helping Boston rally from six points down with 12.7 seconds to play, to knock off the Thunder 100-99.

Tatum tallied a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds. And doing so at 20 years and 17 days old, Tatum became the youngest player in franchise history to tally at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game.

“It feels good,” Tatum said when asked about his first 20-plus point, 10-plus rebound game in the NBA. “But honestly, I’m just glad we won. That was a big win against a great team and it was fun playing out there today.”

Impacting the game on multiple levels offensively along with being a defensive and rebounding force are qualities often associated with George who became familiar with Tatum prior to last June’s NBA draft which is when the Celtics selected him with the third overall pick. 

“I reached out to him before he was coming into this draft and I got to talk to him,” said George, who had 24 points and a game-high 13 rebounds against the Celtics. “It’s an honor when you see young talent. I‘ve been inspired by many in this league so it’s great to inspire the younger generation in this league.”

And while Tatum may be young, he continues to prove himself up for whatever challenges await him. 

“We are going to keep throwing to the wolves and keep going to him in those moments,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

Boston closed out the game with an 8-1 spurt in the final 24.7 seconds, with Tatum either scoring or assisting on five of those points which includes assistant on Marcus Morris’ game-winner.

Tatum’s composure down the stretch comes from being influenced by many, including George who considers it “an honor” that Tatum holds him in high regard. 

“At the end of the day, us veteran guys want the younger guys to take the game further and advance much farther than what I was,” George said. “There’s going to be kids looking up to Jayson (Tatum) that are probably already looking up to Jayson (Tatum).”


NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Kyrie Irving getting second opinion on injured knee

NBC Sports Boston Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Kyrie Irving getting second opinion on injured knee

1:15 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins Gary Tanguay and Trenni Kusnierek to discuss Kyrie Irving getting a second opinion on his injured knee and what the Kyrie’s options are for the remainder of the season.

5:53 - Kyle Draper and Brian Scalabrine break down the Celtics stunning last second comeback win over the Thunder with multiple key players sitting out.

10:27 - Tom Curran and Jerod Mayo stop by Early Edition to play a game of Fill in the Blank that involves Gronkowski’s contract and the Patriots best offseason acquisition.