Saturday, March 28, 2020

It has been too long since the Boston Celtics had a genuine hero to take control on the hardwood. It may be Jayson Tatum that mounts that “fiery steed” and rescues this season.

After the trauma of last season, the Boston Celtics need a genuine hero to step forward and take control. I am not talking about a gunner that that will try to take a game over by himself, nor a verbal leader to keep things in line. What the team needs is a guy that can be counted on to consistently supply what is needed to win games – a hero that can be counted on in the clutch to deliver. It is highly-probable that the hero Boston is waiting for is third-year man, Jayson Tatum.

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Jayson Tatum = Mr. Franchise?

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Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens know what they have in Tatum. SB Nation’s Keith Smith was apparently told by an unidentified NBA executive that the Celtics turned down an insane offer for Jayson, and added that Tatum was the franshise in Boston (per NBC Sports Darren Hartwell):

“We tried to get him. The price they asked was insane, as it should be,” the executive told Smith, adding that Tatum “is the franchise in Boston.”

Tatum didn’t have a bad year in 2018-19. He just didn’t blossom as hoped. His minutes, points, rebounds, assists and steals all increased, but his shooting percentages dropped. What also decreased were his free throw attempts – from 3.2 APG to 2.9. His shot attempts increased, but his efficiency dropped. He is allegedly trying to alter that course this summer.

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🏀💪 “Driving and getting downhill through contact and being able to finish around the rim is our No. 1 focus.”

Jayson Tatum & his trainer have a specific goal in mind this offseason.https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/celtics/skills-coach-provides-encouraging-update-jayson-tatum 

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I feel the Celtics rely too much on the 3-pointer, and many Celts fans agree with that. Announcer, Tommy Heisohn, is constantly prodding the guys in green to “take it into the paint”. That has been a weak part of Jayson’s game, and one that needs to improve. Adding strength and proficiency at attacking the paint – and finishing at the rim – should be his goals this off-season, and at least the latter part is being handled by Tatum and his skills coach, Drew Hanlen (per NBC Sports Boston staff):

“Driving and getting downhill through contact and being able to finish around the rim is our No. 1 focus,” Hanlen told Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. “And then consistency when he’s (Tatum) shooting off the dribble or off a full-speed move from the 3-point line. Those are our two things, just getting to the rim and drawing fouls, and finishing when you do get to the rim, and then consistency with threes. We just want him to be more efficient, and we think he will be. He’s as locked in as I’ve ever seen him.”

 

Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where’s the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn
And I dream of what I need
I need a hero

This is a lot to ask of a 21-year-old who won’t be 22 until the end of the regular season. But damn it, it’s time. We had Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Jo Jo White, Larry Bird and Paul Pierce. “Where have all the good men gone?” I believe they are here in Boston – but one of them needs to mount that “fiery steed” and rescue this season. Celtics fans are holding out for that.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @_Celtics_Center and Facebook

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