Brad Stevens praises Jayson Tatum: 'He's gotten better since being named an All-Star'

Brad Stevens praises Jayson Tatum: 'He's gotten better since being named an All-Star'

Can we even put into words the type of season Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum is having?

Tatum is receiving some high praise from players and coaches around the NBA, most notably LeBron James calling him a "young king" following his 41-point effort against the Lakers on Sunday. C's coach Brad Stevens joined in before Boston's game against the Trail Blazers in Portland on Tuesday night -- noting that the Tatum party is just getting started.

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"I think he's really doing a great job of recognizing situations," Stevens said. "He's getting more thrown at him every game and, as you can tell, there's a hunger to continue to improve. So, I think the best part about this story is he's had a year worthy of being named an All-Star and he's gotten better since he was named an All-Star. So, those are usually good signs."

The 21-year-old is averaging 22.9 points, 2.9 assists and 7.0 rebounds per game this season while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

In the two games since the All-Star break, Tatum is averaging 34.5 points, 2.5 assists and 8.0 rebounds while shooting 49.1 percent from the field and 48.6 percent from 3-point range. Obviously, it's a very small sample size, but Tatum is showing just how dominant he can become while also giving us a taste of his ability to completely take over games.

Kemba Walker hasn't played since the All-Star Game, which has pushed Tatum to become more of a leader for Boston in key situations. Considering the C's will once again be without Walker on Tuesday night, expect more big things from Tatum.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Trail Blazers, which begins Tuesday at 9 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 10 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.


Report: NBA to launch 2K tournament, each team will have player representative

Report: NBA to launch 2K tournament, each team will have player representative

It looks like eSports' time to shine is finally here.

With all the major sports leagues on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA has come up with a creative solution to create some new basketball-based programming.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the league will be hosting a players-only NBA 2K tournament on Friday and it will air on a major network. Additionally, Haynes is reporting that each team is planning to have a player gamer involved with the tournament.

This is a good way for the league to create some new basketball-related excitement with the season currently suspended. It will certainly be fun to see how players who are so good on the basketball court can fare in the realm of basketball video games.

Of course, if every team does have a player representative set to play on Friday night, that means a member of the Boston Celtics will be in action. The ideal fit for the team would be Gordon Hayward, as he's an avid gamer and would almost certainly be able to lead the 2K Celtics to some victories.

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If Hayward isn't the choice, Grant Williams would be another logical option. He disclosed to NBC Sports Boston's A. Sherrod Blakely that he loves playing video games on an episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast shortly after he was drafted.

No matter who is running the Celtics team, it will be entertaining to watch NBA players square off against each other again, even if it is just in some 2K action.

And speaking of 2K action, be sure to check out our latest Celtics simulation. The 2K-C's took on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night as they looked to keep their winning streak alive.

How well does 21-year-old Jayson Tatum compare to 21-year-old Michael Jordan?

How well does 21-year-old Jayson Tatum compare to 21-year-old Michael Jordan?

We know that Jayson Tatum is on the path to NBA stardom. But is he on a similar pace to one of the greatest players ever to play the game, Michael Jordan?

You be the judge.

Boston Sports Info (@BostonSportsInf) checked out the statistical comparison between Jayson Tatum and Michael Jordan during their 21-year-old seasons. And when looking at the numbers on a per 36-minute basis, they were relatively close in most major categories.

In addition to the numbers pictured, Tatum averaged 3.1 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.9 blocks per 36 as a 21-year-old. Meanwhile, Jordan got 5.5 assists, 2.2 steals, and 0.8 blocks per 36.

So, Jordan edged Tatum in most categories, save for Tatum's rebounding advantage and his ever-so-slight blocks advantage. Of course, it's worth noting that Jordan entered the league as a 21-year-old rookie, so he had no NBA experience while he put up these excellent numbers. Tatum had 143 games of regular-season experience and 19 games of playoff experience before his 21st birthday.

Regardless, the point is that Tatum is still developing very well and the fact that his numbers can even be comparable to one of the NBA's all-time greats is an excellent sign. He should continue to progress and should soon be one of the top players in the NBA if he continues on his current trajectory.

Tatum may not reach Jordan level. Few ever do. But the stats indicate that he's on the right track very early on in his career.

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