Boston’s Jayson Tatum recently said he wants to remain a Boston Celtic for the remainder of his career. With the trade deadline having passed, it looks like he’ll be a Celtic for this year at least. To celebrate, the 20-year-old won the 2019 All-Star Skills Challenge after draining a jaw-dropping half-court shot. Now he needs to carry that success into the final stretch of the season and help the Celtics in their playoff run. Boston is currently tied with the 76ers, 5.5 games back of Toronto in Atlantic Division. They also happen to be 6.5 games behind the mighty Bucks, who lead the Eastern Conference and will host Boston on Thursday. So how big of an impact will Tatum have in that game? Let’s look at see odds and see what can be expected.
Tatum has proven himself to be an effective rebounder who can score points and it’s easy to picture him as one of the NBA’s best players in the years to come. So far this year, Jayson has averaged 16.6 points per game and 8.1 rebounds. He’s not very effective when it comes to nailing three-pointers and his field-goal percentage is .453 but he’s a good free throw shooter. He has shown improvement in point production in February, averaging 18 points per game, but his rebound average has suffered in the new year. He averaged just 5.1 rebounds in January and is sitting at 7.3 rebounds in February.
Obviously, one thing that will help him boost his point total is playing time, which he has had plenty of in recent games. He averaged 30.4 minutes through January and 32.1 minutes in February. One thing that could work against him is the face that the Bucks are a strong rebounding team with a very solid defense. The Celtics were victorious in their first meeting with Milwaukee back in November, but Tatum didn’t really light it up. He finished the game with 12 points and six rebounds in 32 minutes of playing time. The Celtics recorded a loss in their second meeting which saw Tatum score 20 points and snag five rebounds.
It’s hard to imagine that he will bring down more than seven rebounds in this one judging by Milwaukee’s rebounding prowess and Jayson’s rebounding woes over the past several weeks. Anything over six will be a feat. As far as scoring goes, don’t expect anything less than 17 but, at the same time, anything over 22 might be reaching. 19 points seems like a pretty fair prediction.
Prediction: 19 points and six rebounds.
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