Tommy Hainsohn once called Paul Pierce the best offensive player the Celtics ever had. Jayson Tatum wore The Truth’s #34 last night – and we saw some Pierce-like replays.
Jayson Tatum did nothing to dispel the past and future Paul Pierce comparisons. In the Blue Team’s 97-78 win over the White Team from last night’s USA Basketball scrimmage, Tatum donned The Truth’s #34 – and played like him.
Jayson scored on drives, treys and post-ups – garnering a team-high 17 points on 6-of-8 from the field and 3-of-5 on 3-pointers. He also managed to haul down four rebounds in 16 minutes of play.
What was most notable was the lack of hesitation when Tatum got the ball. He constantly made the pass, shot or drive without thinking about it. It is only one game, but I saw a veteran’s confidence in his play. And we got a slight glimpse of what Jayson can do if turned loose. Pierce was dangerous on the offensive end because he could score in so many ways. Tommy Heinsohn called Paul the best Celtics offensive player of all time. That may be debatable, but it looks like Pierce may have competition for that accolade down the road. Tatum really shined in this one.
Kemba Walker also distinguished him self in this contest, coming away with 12 points and four assists. Watching Kemba closely, it is obvious that he seems to take a page out of Bob Cousy’s book. Walker, at least in this game, often went with the long outlet pass, much like Cousy used to do, as opposed to getting possession and dribbling the length of the floor. If that continues in the regular season, we can expect more fast breaks.
Jaylen Brown had a quiet game. He only scored two points and added one rebound. Marcus Smart sat out the game with a lingering calf issue, but it appears he will remain on the USA Basketball roster for now. Look for that in a separate article.
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