While Markelle Fultz, 76ers 2017 #1 overall draft pick, is trying to hit a pair of free throws at Harvard gym, the player 76ers, strangely, choose not to draft last June and pair with Ben Simmons is making a strong case why he should be considered the leading R.O.Y. candidate.
Celtics rookie SF Jayson Tatum has performed admirably in this postseason – after averaging 13.9 ppg and 5.0 rpg in 30.5 minutes over the course of regular season Duke's alumni has stepped up for the Cs in the postseason and is currently averaging 18.3 ppg in 34.8 minutes!
Tatum probably should have been the first pick in the draft. Tatum has been awesome. When you get a player who can raise the level of his game come playoff time, then you've got somebody special, because usually after college, it's tough to make it to the next level. That's why only a handful of players really make it to the next level. - Dr. J (ESPN)
By scoring 20 points in the Game 4 road loss to Philly he has extended his rookie franchise postseason record of consecutive 20-point games to six, while currently averaging 23.3 ppg in the Eastern Conference semifinal!
His level of performance, with mature on-court decisions in the decisive game moments, have definitely propelled Celtics winning chances and thus opened many eyes across the League, including the ones of 76ers head coach Brett Brown who recently praised Tatum:
He is really good. Like, he is really good. He’s got a package that he shouldn’t at such a young age. You know, like they post him. He’ll come off and … hit spot-up threes. He’s got stuff off a live ball that has caught me off-guard where he really can dance in an isolation situation. - Brett Brown (philly.com)
However, another huge test of Tatum's abilities and confidence level might lie not too far ahead on the Celtics postseason 'road' in the form of mighty Cavaliers and LeBron James…
Jayson Tatum Full Highlights 2018 ECSF GM4 Boston Celtics @ Philadelphia 76ers
Murray A. is BN contributor and the author of the book about legendary NBA guard Drazen Petrovic — Drazen – The Years of the Dragon: the untold story