The 2018 NBA Playoffs were Jayson Tatum’s coming out party.
First off, he did this:
But in addition to posterizing Bron Bron, Taco Jay just generally showed the limits or actually the total lack there of, of his overall game, the amazing potential he possess as a basketball player. The future looked mighty bright.
Cut to 2019 and a Sophomore Slump of a second year that could rightfully be blamed on a variety of factors. The entire Boston Celtics team has been in a season long funk that saw them go from pre-season Title Contenders to “What the hell is going on here?” Tatum never made “the leap” that some many predicted would happen. Sure there were moments but there were also an equal (or superior) amount of “where is Tatum?”
And unfortunately this has continued into the 2019 Playoffs.
Yes this year is vastly different from last year and the opportunities are being spread across way more hands than in 2018. But the opportunities have been there. Especially in Game 2 against Milwaukee.
Someone needed to step up and hit shots, make plays.
Jayson Tatum shot 2-10 and had 5 points.
In Game 1, Tatum was 2-7 with 4 points.
Now to be fair Tatum had a pretty nice series against the Pacers. But the Celtics easily controlled that whole series. It’s in the tough moments where truly great players step up. And this Milwaukee series is going to be Capital T Tough.
Is this a lot to put on the shoulders of a 20 year old second year guy? Yes. Of course. But if Taco Jay really is the special player that everyone believes him to be then now is precisely the time when he needs to show it.
The real pressure is on Kyrie and Gordo and Al.
Taco Jay just has to take what the game gives him and do what we
think know he can do.