With under four seconds remaining in an ostensibly meaningless 2014 regular season game, Gordon Hayward flared to the top of the key and received the ball. LeBron James lost his footing and fell to the ground, so Hayward came over a screen to survey the landscape.
With Tristan Thompson on him, the star forward knew just what to do. As the clock wound down, Hayward took a dribble before uncorking a step-back jumper over Thompson’s outstretched arm. Utah Jazz 102, Cleveland Cavaliers 100.
There’s no denying that Tatum is uniquely skilled at putting the ball in the basket from 18 feet and in. He has ways of scoring that no other rookie can match. There are forwards who have been in the league for 10 years who should be jealous of his footwork and his ability to create his own look in a pinch.
It’s just fair to wonder if these plays can sustain in the regular season against longer, more athletic players. It’s much harder to hit those turnarounds against NBA veterans than guys invited for a summer league tryout.
For Tatum to become an All-Star-level player, he’ll have to continue to improve as a passer, three-point shooter, and rim attacker. At only 19 years old, he has plenty of time for that. Playing for a great coach like Stevens should be a huge help.
The Celtics should be encouraged that Tatum already knows Cheap Jerseys 90 his spots on the floor and how to get to them. The question is if he can continue to score efficiently from areas that are traditionally the least efficient on the court. Boston placed a big bet on Tatum when they traded out of Cheap Jerseys AUStralia the No. 1 pick. Ultimately, he will need to round out his game to reach his potential and justify the Celtics’ decision.