So we all knew Jayson Tatum was good, sure. But did we understand, fully comprehend, how good he'd be late in games? Tatum is unbelievably clutch, not only for a rookie, but for a player in general.
Out of his 14 points per game on average, about 4.5 of those points come during the 4th quarter. So, as a rookie, he is already averaging half of what LeBron James averages in the 4th quarter (around 9 points per 4th quarter per game). Impressive to say the least.
Sure, he doesn't have the Kyrie Irving role on the team. Which is to shoot at will late in the games, in order to close-out the opposition. However, that should not be used against him when debating/discussing his clutch-gene. It is not his job, or duty, to be the go-to guy for the Boston Celtics late in games. Rather, he waits for his time to strike, and then he capitalizes on the moment.
If Tatum is doing this when he is 19 years old, imagine what he will be doing when he is 25 years old. The total scoring numbers will surely be there at that point, if all goes according to plan.
The kid has made a number of clutch shots this season. That said, when he finally finds his groove and starts going on clutch stretches late in games, the league will need to watch out. The C's have Tatum and Irving down the stretch. If that doesn't scream 4th quarter takeover, I don't know what does.
When looking at Tatum and comparing him to other true rookies, it is clear that he is the most mature and NBA ready (in terms of fundamentals). That is the reason why the Celtics drafted him. They saw that. And now Celtics fans can surely see that.
There really hasn't been a Celtic rookie that has been thrown into the fire like this and actually survived as well as Tatum has in a long time. He has held his own. In fact, he has held more than his own.
This kid was ready to play NBA ball from the minute Adam Silver announced, "With the 3rd pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics select Jayson Tatum."