Jayson Tatum felt 'way more comfortable' against Sixers

Jayson Tatum felt 'way more comfortable' against Sixers

The way Jayson Tatum saw it, starting for the Celtics was a matter of when – not if – it would happen.

The 6-foot-8 forward got the call on Friday and proved he was up to the challenge with a fast start that helped Boston pull away for a 110-102 win over Philadelphia.

Tatum had nine points which included him making his first three shots from the field.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens had told Tatum that he would be looking to start different lineups in the preseason, so Tatum assumed at some point he would be getting the call to play with the first unit.

Tatum said he felt “way more comfortable” against Philly in comparison to his first preseason game against Charlotte on Monday.

“I was more calm, relaxed,” Tatum said.

Part of that certainly had to do with him being on the floor to start the game with the team’s Big Three of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford in addition to his best friend on the team, Jaylen Brown.

Said Stevens: “I figured he would look good with those guys.”

Tatum added, “It makes it easier (starting). I’m playing with Gordon, Kyrie and Al. People not worrying about me. So when they help, I can make easy shots.”

For Tatum’s teammates, his play on Friday was just an extension of what he has been doing throughout the preseason in practice.

What often jumps out about Tatum when he’s on the floor, is the maturity he shows when it comes to doing what is necessary to be effective.

On offense, he was matched up early on with Philadelphia’s J.J. Redick who is at least four inches shorter. Rather than trying to back Redick down deep into the paint, Tatum backed him down just enough to where he was in his sweet, mid-range spot and simply shot over him.

And in transition, Tatum made a point of getting to the spots on the floor where he’s most comfortable.

Besides pulling up for jumpers in transition, Tatum also has the ability to put it on the floor and finished with a powerful one-handed dunk.

Irving has been quizzed about Tatum often, and admits he’s running low on superlatives when it comes to describing his teammate.

“I don’t know how many other quotes I can give you guys about Jayson,” said Irving who led all scorers with 21 points which included 5-for-7 from 3-point range. “He’s just such an awesome kid. He’s like a big kid. He’s just going to continue to get better and every single day he values that as we all do as teammates to encourage him and encourage each other.”


Greg Monroe looks comfortable as bigger offensive focal point

Greg Monroe looks comfortable as bigger offensive focal point

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum dropped 23 points, snatched 11 rebounds and Boston’s injury-riddled roster squeaked out a 100-99 upset win over Oklahoma City.

It was a good game for Tatum, but teammate Marcus Morris wasn’t moved one bit by Tatum’s historical performance.

“Now it’s not. … I’m not even impressed no more,” Morris said. “It’s to the point where I know what he’s going to bring, I know what he’s capable of. So it’s more like, I expect that now just being around, watching him play day-in and day-out, practicing with him.”

Teammates agree that the 20-year-old Tatum is growing up right before our eyes.

“With Jaylen and Kyrie being out, he’s looking to be more aggressive,” said Boston’s Al Horford. “Everybody is going to talk about offense, but on the defensive end he didn’t have an easy matchup, going against Paul George. I felt like he did a great job.”

Here are five other takeaways from Boston’s 100-99 comeback win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.


Boston’s second unit is still getting the job done even as injuries rob it of its core group that includes Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier who are now both starters. The Celtics’ new-look second unit was still impactful in Boston’s 100-99 squeaker past the Oklahoma City Thunder. Against the Thunder, Boston’s bench outscored Oklahoma City 35-10.


The big man continues to come up big for the Boston Celtics off the bench. Injuries have forced other key reserves into the starting lineup which has led to Monroe becoming an even bigger focal point offensively when he’s on the floor. Against the Thunder, he had 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting with six rebounds.


You never really know what you’re going to get from the Boston Celtics when it comes to rebounding the basketball. Well, Tuesdaynight was the good rebounding Celtics whose ability to control the glass was a huge factor in the victory as Boston out-rebounded Oklahoma City 52-44.


Remember how Marcus Smart would struggle to make shots, and still play major minutes and still make a meaningful impact? Well, Semi Ojeleye had that kind of game for the Celtics. The 6-foot-6 rookie missed all six of his field goal attempts, but showed some serious versatility against the Thunder with defensive stints on each of Oklahoma City’s Big Three of Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Russell Westbrook.


Marcus Morris made the game-winner and Jayson Tatum was as strong on the floor as we’ve ever seen him. But arguably the biggest X-factor in Boston’s win was the play of Larkin. His ability to control the flow of the game, getting his teammates in and out of sets was critical to the win, as was his offense. For the game, Larking had 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field.

NBA: Congrats to the Celtics on the win, but they for sure should not have won

File Photo

NBA: Congrats to the Celtics on the win, but they for sure should not have won

The NBA officials' Last Two Minute report for Tuesday is out, and boy did the Celtics get away with one!

The league admitted to missing two infractions -- both committed by Marcus Morris -- on the possession on which Morris hit a game-winning three-pointer against the Thunder. 

The C's began the possession with Morris inbounding the ball, but a stopwatch revealed to the league that Morris did not release the ball within the five seconds allotted on an inbounding play. Had the correct call been made, the ball would have been turned over to the Thunder, who at the time held a two-point lead with 7.7 seconds remaining. 

Furthermore, video replay led the league to determine that Morris traveled prior to taking the shot. The video evidence that suggested this was that Morris was wearing an NBA jersey in the video, but also he moved his pivot foot prior to the release of his dribble. That call would have also given the Thunder the ball. 

What these nerds didn't consider is that the basketball gods have more power than their stopwatches. What a win.