Why J.J. Redick expects All-NBA first team Jayson Tatum in Game 5 vs. Heat


The pivotal Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat is Wednesday night at FTX Arena, and J.J. Redick is expecting an excellent performance from Jayson Tatum.

The Celtics superstar was named to the All-NBA first team Tuesday. It's the first time in his career Tatum has been voted on to the first team. He was a third team selection in 2019-20. 

Tatum has been Boston's best player in the 2022 NBA playoffs, although he has had a couple lackluster performances. But, to his credit, he's responded very well each time. After a rough Game 3 loss to the Heat, Tatum bounced back with 31 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks as Boston cruised to a 102-82 victory in Game 4 that evened the series at two wins apiece.

What should we expect from Tatum in Game 5?

"We are going to get first All-NBA Jayson Tatum. That's who he is," Redick said Wednesday morning on ESPN show "Get Up!". "I'm going to say it again: First team All-NBA Jayson Tatum. Yes, he's allowed to have off shooting nights. For me, it comes down to the turnovers, that's where it's an issue.


"If we look at Game 3 of that Bucks series, which (the Celtics) lost, he had 10 points and bounced back with 30 (in Game 4), 34 (in Game 5), 46 (in Game 6), 23 in a closeout game. Let's not have this narrative where Jayson Tatum is all of a sudden this inconsistent player. He is first team All-NBA Jayson Tatum."

Wednesday night's matchup is a huge moment for Tatum. First team All-NBA players thrive in the kind of situation he'll face in Game 5 -- the opportunity to take a 3-2 series lead and move within one win of reaching the NBA Finals.

Tatum has achieved some impressive feats so far this season -- All-Star Game starter, first team All-NBA selection, etc. The next step is performing at that top five level on the biggest stage in the playoffs. Everything we've seen so far suggests he's ready for the challenge.