Please forward this error screen to 209. You can change the location at any time. NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, Dec. DETROIT — As the game tape rolled in the Detroit Pistons locker room, Boston Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum splashed one long jumper after another sorry, But I’m Gonna Have To Pass the rim.
Watching before he stepped into the shower, Pistons wing Stanley Johnson marveled at how the 19-year-old never misses an open jumper. Tatum occasionally misfires when he needs to rush his release, Johnson said, or when a defender closes out with particular precision. But Tatum’s shots always seem to fall when he can set his feet beneath him properly. The development has been one of the NBA’s early-season shockers. Anybody who says they’re not surprised by his 3-point shooting based on what he did in college is lying,” remarked Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy. And I’m sure there’s somebody saying that, that they knew. An interesting part about Van Gundy’s comments?
He still believed in Tatum as much as anybody else before the draft, considering the Celtics’ youngster worthy of the No. 1 overall pick even if he couldn’t iron out his long-distance shooting stroke right away. I thought he was the best prospect in the draft. He’s got all the tools,” Van Gundy said Sunday before falling to the Celtics, 91-81. Everything else was there — his ability to put the ball on the floor and get shots.
He’s got a real poise to him. He’s better defensively than people think. It’s safe to assume a number of other coaches now feel the same way. In short time, Tatum has established himself as one of the NBA’s top young players, a foundational piece who could help open the Celtics’ championship window for a long time. There was always a lot to like about his game — the way he can create a shot on command, the way his arms extend all the way to the moon, the way he never seems to waver regardless of the situation.
But the delightfully efficient shooting is what has everyone buzzing. Through the first 28 games of his rookie season, Tatum’s 52. 3-percent 3-point shooting leads the entire NBA. His first run through the league has been one giant hot streak. He shot 50 percent from behind the arc in October, 48 percent in November, and now sits at 66.
7 percent over five December contests. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, smiling. No I mean there’s only so many people that shoot it at that level. Even though he’s shooting it great, obviously that level is reserved for great, great shooters. So you wouldn’t predict that with any young guy. Even if they couldn’t predict the current level of Tatum’s 3-point shooting, the Celtics knew he would need to become comfortable at that range.
At Duke, the youngster often lived in the midrange. He had a lot of success during NBA summer league this July, but, again, did so with a lot of tough, contested shots. You look at the numbers of it. Obviously he can make that shot and we don’t want to take that out of his game.