BOSTON – Following Boston’s 111-100 win over Milwaukee, Marcus Morris could only shake his head when the topic of discussion centered on Jayson Tatum.
Tatum finished with 17 points on 5-for-6 shooting. Of his 17 points, 14 came in the first quarter.
“You come out (scoring) like that, you should have a career high by the end of the night,” Morris quipped.
No need to rush things.
The 19-year-old rookie will have plenty of opportunities in the future to build upon what has been a strong foundation in his first NBA season.
It’s not just a coincidence that what head coach Brad Stevens saw as the best “we’ve played offensively all year” in the first half, was also the best half of play for Tatum this season.
What continues to stand out about Tatum is his consistency in terms of shooting the ball.
He came into Monday’s game shooting a league-best 48.6 percent from 3-point range.
That figure rose to 51.3 percent after Monday’s game in which he was 4-for-5 from beyond the 3-point line.
“It’s just repetition,” Tatum said.
Said Al Horford: “It was just a lot of fun to see him have some success early and I feel like because of those three’s he kind of opened the game up for the rest of us.”
The Celtics felt good about Tatum’s perimeter shooting leading up to the draft.
But it was his workout that sold them on him potentially being a big-time, long-range shooter sooner rather than later.
“When he came in for his workout … he made a lot of shots. And it looked effortless, and that’s usually a pretty good sign,” Stevens said. “He’s going to be a heck of a shooter.”
And as far as that career high?
“Maybe next time,” said Tatum, grinning.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 111-100 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.
The scary part about the Greek Freak’s play was the Celtics actually did a good job of contesting a lot of his shots. It didn’t do a lot of good, with Antetokounmpo finishing with 40 points on 14-for-24 shooting with nine rebounds and four assists.
The points continue to come right on time for Irving and the Celtics. Irving led Boston with 32 points on 13-for-24 shooting along with four rebounds and two steals.
The impact of Horford on this Celtics team at both ends of the floor continues to be one of the team’s keys to success. It was yet another highly efficient night at the office for Horford who had a near triple-double of 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting to go with nine rebounds and eight assists with one blocked shot.
He came out the gates red-hot for Boston, scoring 14 of his 17 points in the first quarter. He also had six rebounds.
The Bucks are playing better basketball lately, and the addition of Bledsoe has a lot to do with it. Against the Celtics, he had 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting with three rebounds and three assists.
Middleton did a lot of good things for the Bucks offensively, scoring 19 points on 6-for-11 shooting along with eight rebounds and five assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
This was not one of his better nights shooting the ball. He was among the legion of defenders Boston called upon to help limit the Greek Freak. But unlike most of his teammates, Morris just didn’t have it going offensively tonight. He finished with three points while missing five of his six shot attempts from the field.