Jayson Tatum has taken a tremendous leap in all facets of his game during Year 3 of his NBA career.
The Boston Celtics forward has shown his superstar potential on several occasions this season, including during the team's current playoff run. If the game is on the line, Tatum is the guy you want with the ball in his hands.
In fact, the numbers prove it.
In a new column, NBC Sports' NBA insider Tom Haberstroh used a metric called Clutch Win Probability Added (CWPA) that determines the amount of win probability a player adds above or below a “normal” play. Tatum ranks as the eighth-most clutch player in the NBA, according to the analytics.
Here's more from Haberstroh's column, in which Anthony Davis edges out Lakers teammate LeBron James as the most clutch player in the NBA:
8. Jayson Tatum
Clutch WPA: 1.58
The 22-year-old ranks this high despite a brutal Game 1 against the Miami Heat, Bam Adebayo block included. That’s how good the Celtics wing has been early in his career. Tatum was simply incredible in the regular season for Boston, posting an NBA-best 62.5 percent effective shooting percentage on “double clutch” shots (more than 10 shots taken minimum).
We knew this kid was special in the 2018 playoffs when he threw down a hammer dunk on LeBron James in the fourth quarter of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. That postseason, Tatum made five of his six “double clutch” shots and displayed poise well beyond his years. If he keeps this up, the former No. 3 overall pick will be at the top of the list in no time.
Other notables are Celtics guard Kemba Walker ranking 120th (0.50 Clutch WPA) and ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo ranking dead-last at 268th (-1.04).
We'll have to see what Tatum has in store for the remainder of Boston's playoff run, but those statistics are tough to ignore. It's just another reason C's fans should be psyched about what lies ahead for the 22-year-old All-Star.
Tatum and the C's will look to tie their Eastern Conference finals series at 2 vs. the Miami Heat on Wednesday night. Tip-off for Game 4 is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.
Be sure to tune in to NBC Sports Boston for Celtics Pregame Live at 7:30 p.m., and Celtics Postgame Live immediately after the final buzzer.