Putting Jayson Tatum's Summer League performance in context with recent years

Putting Jayson Tatum's Summer League performance in context with recent years

This news may already be out there, but Jayson Tatum has looked good in NBA Summer League play thus far.

Coupled with the anticipated progression of second-year pro/kids-table-party-thrower/people’s champ Jaylen Brown, the performance that Tatum has turned in (18.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in Utah; 19.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game in Vegas) has created a hype train so loud that within a few days Celtics fans might need a reminder that the team also signed Gordon Hayward this offseason. 


Naturally, the reaction to any strong Summer League performance is to say it doesn’t matter because it’s Summer League. That’s why the responses to this brilliant tweet were an absolute tire fire. 

But can Summer League prowess be an indication of things to come in the coming regular season? In the case of Celtics players, the answer is a resounding “not really.” 

Of the team’s top Summer League performers since 2010, only Kelly Olynyk in 2014 (his second Summer League stint) went on to average 10 or more points per game that regular season. 

Especially in the case of what’s become an increasingly deep (and contending) Celtics team, the minutes simply haven’t been there for rookies and second-year players in the regular season. 

Still, as you’ll see below, Tatum’s numbers are better than theirs. Here’s a look at those performers. 

Terry Rozier, 2016

SUMMER LEAGUE: 3 GP, 21.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.0 APG (Vegas)
                                  3 GP, 19.0 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 5.0 APG (Utah)
REGULAR SEASON: 74 GP, 17.1 MIN, 5.5 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.8 APG

Jaylen Brown, 2015 

SUMMER LEAGUE: 5 GP, 16.0 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.2 APG (Vegas)
                                  1 GP, 16.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.0 APG (Utah)
REGULAR SEASON: 78 GP, 17.2 MIN, 6.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 0.8 APG 

Terry Rozier, 2015

SUMMER LEAGUE: 3 GP, 12.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.7 APG (Utah)
                                  5 GP, 12.2 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 4.0 APG (Vegas)
REGULAR SEASON: 39 GP, 8.0 MIN, 1.8 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.9 APG

Marcus Smart, 2015

SUMMER LEAGUE: 2 GP, 24.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 7.5 APG (Utah)
                                  3 GP, 10.7 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 2.0 APG (Vegas)
REGULAR SEASON: 61 GP, 27.3 MIN, 9.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.0 APG 

Kelly Olynyk, 2014

SUMMER LEAGUE: 4 GP, 17.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.0 APG (Orlando)
REGULAR SEASON: 64 GP, 22.3 MIN, 10.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.7 APG

Marcus Smart, 2014 

SUMMER LEAGUE: 5 GP, 14.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 4.2 APG (Orlando)
REGULAR SEASON: 67 GP, 27.0 MIN, 7.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.1 APG

Kelly Olynyk, 2013

SUMMER LEAGUE: 5 GP, 18.0 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 2.4 APG (Vegas)
REGULAR SEASON: 70 GP, 20.0 MIN, 8.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.6 APG 

Jared Sullinger, 2012  

SUMMER LEAGUE: 4 GP, 13.8 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1 APG (Orlando)
                                  5 GP, 11.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 0.4 APG (Vegas)
REGULAR SEASON: 45 GP, 19.8 MIN, 6.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 0.8 APG 

E’Twaun Moore, 2012

SUMMER LEAGUE: 5 GP, 13.8 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 2.8 APG (Orlando) 
                                  2 GP, 17 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2 APG (Vegas)
REGULAR SEASON: 38 GP, 8.7 MIN, 2.9 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.9 APG

Luke Harangody, 2010

SUMMER LEAGUE: 5 GP, 16.6 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.6 APG (Orlando)
REGULAR SEASON: 28 GP, 8.6 MIN, 2.3 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.4 APG (traded to Cavaliers mid-season)

Of course, none of these players (perhaps with the exception of Brown) had the pedigree that Tatum has. Tatum was chosen with the third overall pick with the expectation that he would be a star offensively. He’s certainly been that in the summer league, but between having to fight for minutes and the C’s already having their top two scorers already established, no one actually expects Tatum’s eye-opening performance to be repeated in the regular season just yet. 

NBCSB Breakfast podcast: Maybe next year will be the Celtics' year

NBC Sports Boston Illustration

NBCSB Breakfast podcast: Maybe next year will be the Celtics' year

1:31 - With the results of Kyrie Irving’s second opinion on he knee looming, the Celtic’s season is certainly up in the air. A. Sherrod Blakely, Chris Mannix, Kyle Draper and Gary Tanguay debate how and if Kyrie should be used if he returns.

6:02 - Back in October Michael Felger prematurely said the Bruins season was over. The B’s marketing team featured Felger in an ad for playoff tickets now that the Bruins have clinched the playoffs. Felger, Trenni and Gary react to the commercial and discuss the Bruins playoff chances.

11:47 - The Patriots are making moves! on Tursday the Pats made deals with LaAdrian Waddle, Marquis Flowers and Patrick Chung. Phil Perry, Michael Holley, Troy Brown and Tom Curran discuss how despite these moves, the Patriots should still be in search of a left tackle.

Greg Monroe looking forward to his 2nd taste of playoffs

File Photo

Greg Monroe looking forward to his 2nd taste of playoffs

BOSTON – We live in a world filled with success stories that came about by accident. 

The invention of the microwave oven.

Post-It notes.

The creation of potato chips.

The Boston Celtics’ game-winning play against Oklahoma City earlier this week qualfies; a play in which there were multiple miscues made by the Celtics prior to Marcus Morris’ game-winning shot. 


All these Celtics injuries have made Brad Stevens a mad scientist of sorts with some unusual lineups that may be on display tonight against the guard-centric Portland Trail Blazers. 

In Boston’s 100-99 win over the Thunder on Tuesday, we saw Stevens utilize a lineup with Al Horford and Greg Monroe, in four different stints.

Monroe, who had 17 points off the bench - the most he has scored as a Celtic -  enjoyed playing with Horford.

“Al’s so smart. He’s seen it all in this league,” Monroe told NBC Sports Boston. “He’s an all-star. Very cerebral player, unselfish. So it’s easy playing with him. He can space, drive, make plays. I feel like I can make plays, driving. It’s fun playing with him. I look forward to getting out there with him more.”

Horford had similar praise for playing with Monroe.

“Coach (Brad Stevens) made a great move bringing Greg back in, in the fourth, playing us together,” Horford said. “He made some great plays, passing the ball and just … timely plays. It’s one of those things, the more we play with each other the more comfortable we’ll get. I thought it was very positive.”

Monroe’s role has become significantly more important with the season-ending injury (torn meniscus, left knee) to Daniel Theis. And his ability to play well with various lineups will only improve Boston’s chances of weathering this latest storm of injuries which comes on the eve of the playoffs. 

And while there’s a certain amount of pleasure all players take in being on a playoff-bound team, Monroe understands better than most NBA veterans just how special it is to be headed towards the postseason.

In his eighth season, this will only be Monroe’s second time participating in the playoffs. 

The first time? 

That was last year, with the Milwaukee Bucks. 

“This is what everybody plays for, I hope,” Monroe said. “This is what I play for, to get into the postseason, make a run. It’s the best situation. I’ve been through a lot in my career, this year. I’m grateful. I don’t take anything for granted. I’m going to do whatever I can to help the team.”

And he has done that lately.

Monroe comes into tonight’s game having scored in double figures each of the last four games, a season high for the 6-foot-11 center. 

Having spent most of his NBA career watching instead of participating in the playoffs, Monroe is out to prove that he can in fact be a significant contributor to a team that’s postseason-bound.

“For sure. You have to have a little chip, a little fire, at least in my eyes,” Monroe said. “I’ve never doubted myself. It’s about being between those lines and being the best player I can be. That’s what I’m focused on.”