Celtics

How Kemba, Walker, Jayson Tatum fared in 2020 NBA All-Star Game

How Kemba, Walker, Jayson Tatum fared in 2020 NBA All-Star Game

The Boston Celtics were always guaranteed to get some sort of win in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. With Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum playing for Team Giannis and Team LeBron respectively, the C's effectively hedged their bets and were guaranteed one player in the winner's circle.

Of course, the result of the All-Star Game doesn't matter. But still, it's nice that the Celtics were in position to claim victory either way. And Tatum claimed the win when Team LeBron won by a final score of 157-155.

Walker and Tatum both put up nice offensive performances in a typically high-scoring All-Star Game that featured little-to-no defense until an exciting and intense fourth quarter.

The C's representatives comported themselves well. Here's a look at exactly how each did on Sunday night and some of their best highlights.

KEMBA WALKER

Walker was one of the offensive stars for Team Giannis, and he ended up leading the team in 3-point shooting. He went 5-of-11 from beyond the arc en route to a 23-point night. He wasn't asked to do as much as a distributor, as Trae Young and Kyle Lowry handled that role more, but Walker still managed three assists and three rebounds on the day.

JAYSON TATUM

Tatum had more of an understated role off the bench from Team LeBron. He still had some nice highlights, and his six points all came on dunks. He ended up playing 14 minutes and in addition to his six points, he had three assists, one rebound, and three steals in well-rounded performance.

Walker and Tatum will return to action for the Celtics later this week when they face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. Coverage of the game will begin at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Boston and can be streamed on the MyTeams App.

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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Celtics Talk Podcast: Danny Ainge on why 63-point game was Michael Jordan's coming out party

Celtics Talk Podcast: Danny Ainge on why 63-point game was Michael Jordan's coming out party

Everybody knew that Michael Jordan was an excellent NBA player very early on in his career.

But was his 63-point game against the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 1986 NBA Playoffs his coming out party? Current Celtics GM Danny Ainge seems to think so.

On the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, Ainge discussed Jordan's 63-point playoff outburst from that series with Brian Scalabrine.

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In the interview, Ainge referred to the game as the moment that many realized that Jordan was "a really, really special player" even though everyone already knew that he was talented.

I think this was a coming out party, a little bit maybe like what Jayson Tatum had after the All-Star Game this year, this long stretch [of good play]. I think this 63-point game, 49 back-to-back games, was a coming out party for Michael as 'Wow, this guy is a really, really special player.' But we knew going in that he was extremely talented.

Ainge would certainly know. He was tasked with helping to guard Jordan late in the game, especially in the fourth quarter and overtime despite having five fouls. Ainge actually held up well doing that, but Jordan still beat him on occasion with his quickness to the hoop and insane scoring touch.

That said, it's also notable that Ainge is comparing Jordan's coming out party to that of Tatum. The third-year Celtic had emerged as a big-time scorer and one of the NBA's best all-around young players after the All-Star Game before the NBA shut down amid coronavirus concerns.

Certainly, Ainge isn't comparing Tatum to Jordan as a player. But the fact that he mentioned the duo in the same breath is still encouraging, and it should signify that Ainge continues to have confidence as the 22-year-old Tatum looks to continue to improve heading into the final year of his rookie contract in 2020-21.

To hear more from Ainge and Scal about the 1986 Celtics-Bulls series and Ainge's relationship with Michael Jordan, check out this week's episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, available on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network and YouTube.