Is Jayson Tatum Boston's Next Superstar?
Jason Tatum is now scratching the surface of what we are on the verge of witness saying his ball handling skills. His sidestep has stepped back is three his ability to the basket. He could do it all ED. He plays defense if you haven't watched the NBA in recent weeks. You've missed a superstar emerging before our eyes Jason. Tatum has four straight thirty point games. He's earned raves from Lebron James. And Oh as of today. He's just twenty two years old. It's been quite a turnaround for a player who bounced back from a sophomore slump. Become one of the best two way players in the league but he's he good enough to deliver Boston a championship. I mean at times. It's Tuesday march third. This is espn daily presented by ADT. Hey Jackie Hello Times. Jackie macmullan covers the NBA for ESPN and recently wrote about the rise of Jason Tatum. Jackie Jason Tatum has been on an absolute tear lately. How good is he playing right now so I think he's playing like a top ten player in the League? Just Jacob Against Caruso spins hits inside thanks home voice over one of the emerging stars in the NBA eleven points. This is something that people projected him to be when he first came out. Strong on Jason Tatum. Let's be honest. You James Harden or discipline each other Lebron. James is telling everybody that Jason Tatum is the next big thing. Lebron even took to instagram about it. Here's the quote. That boy to the left of me is an absolute problem. It's pretty heavy stuff you're right. It shouldn't be surprising in some ways. Because you know he was a top three pick. He came into. This league had an amazing rookie season and yet it does feel like a change in fortune. Well I think what happened Meena? After a rookie year that was culminated by slam. Dunk over Lebron's head in the Eastern Conference finals. Tatum drives down. Interpretive us a look to the crowd he took a step back last he cooled off in the Celtics cooled off. I think he along with Terry Rosiere and some of the others. That really did so well. In the two thousand eighteen season they thought oh good. We're all set now. We're going to build on this. We're going to be you know. We're going to be stars. I think Jason Tatum thought. Maybe I'll be an all star and then last year for that Celtics team. There was some tension and Jason. Tatum was caught in the middle of it and I think it really affected him so a lot of the Celtics drama last year. That you're referencing was turned around. Kyrie irving what was tatum's relationship with Kyri Cari? Irvine is legendary superstar. Hit the big shot in Cleveland history and he immediately takes Jason Tatum under his wing even before he's played in NBA game. He invites him to go to the Bahamas with him to work out with him and Kevin Durant now. Can you imagine this if you're in nineteen year old kid and car? You're putting his arm around you insane. Come on man. You're with me. I got your back. We're GONNA do this. And so that happens. And then he goes in and has a pretty good rookie year gets hurt and then the next year it's career against the world finger on ups and downs experience experience. We're lacking and because of that. We have a lot of Learning to do more specifically career. Marcus Morris at odds with people like Jalen Brown and Terry Rozier who they felt were showing up the way they should every night and then Jalen Brown snapping back at car-o-van saying hey man you keep blaming the young guys how all of us playing and who's in the middle. It's Jason Tatum. And when I asked him about Jerry said you know I did feel in the mental. My two best friends on that team were Kyrie Irving Marcus Morris. And guess what? They're both gone. Even though of Jason Tame doesn't realize it was probably one of the best things that could happen because Kemba Walker who is eternal sunshine came in and said you know what this is your team and Jalen Brownstein. I'm just holding it for you. Let's all play Gordon Hayward got better. Jalen Brown recovered Jason Tatum recovered they start playing together. All the tension disappeared. And now you see what we all could happen from the day. He walked into the League tatum to his left mcdonagh. John tatum steps to the left. Three air data goodnight. Everybody drive safely. The League has a problem. All right. Jackie what specifically has tatum done this year to improve his play on the court. Well he's a different player this year than last and the most important thing I think was what the Celtics talked to him about. Was He was in love with that long? Mid Range which we've all identified as the worst shot and basketball right. He's taking long twos and they're like man just step back one foot or sometimes even eight inches six inches and shoot a three shoot it with confidence and one of the most devastating weapons that he has unleashed particularly in these last few weeks. Is that pull up? Three point goes behind the back. Step back court. Tv particularly the Spurs three pointer. It's deadly shooting over forty percent on pull up three pointers. I mean he's become an destructive offensive force. He can handle double teams. He can drive downhill into traffic and score tatum. Downhill Stephen J Muddy. Now he can shoot a three he's rebounding and he's becoming a little bit of a leader and I think you could argue now because of course kemp has been out with the bad knee and that should be concerning to all celtics fans. Because I don't know what's going on there it's been out awhile but I think at the end of the game we all Kemba Walker would have the ball. Yeah maybe not anymore. Maybe it's Jason Tatum. That's going to try and take that game when lapse tapes tatum so in addition to changing his game has his mental approach. Evolved this season as well. You know I when I talked to him when I interviewed it was before the All Star game and it was clear to me and talking with him how desperately he wanted to make the all star game. You know these young players and again we forget how young they are that validation it means the world to them and you know we always say well. Who Cares who makes the all star team? Well they do especially the first time he found out he made the all star team and then all sorts of things started happening. And I think it's just a confidence level. Where now when he comes down he's not thinking. Oh I hope this goes in. He's thinking watch this. Ns and he's playing with a confidence in a arrogance that all the great players have Jackie in recent weeks. Data's been wearing a purple armband in memory of Kobe Bryant. How did Kobe influenced him well? He spent some time with Koby the summer before his second season and ironically was criticized harshly for that you know because in his second year he started taking a lot of shots wasn't moving the ball as much maybe he was too concentrated too much scoring and not enough on his overall game. And somehow that all got to be Kobe's fault because he spent some time working with Kobe. I don't know how working with Kobe could be a negative but somehow it turned into one because Jason didn't have the kind of year last year that we all thought he might have but I know that those sessions and those workouts were incredibly meaningful to him just as the workouts. He has with Kyrie Irving who remains loyal to regardless of what happened last year. They're friends he stood. I am continues to stand by him told me that carry. Ervin says favorite player in the NBA to watch puts his son deuce on his lap and showed his little son. The guy that he thinks is still one of the most exciting players in the league so he's learning from everyone watching everyone and you know it's funny after. Lebron that thing after their the Laker Games saying you know this boy is Nastier. Whatever it was couple of his veteran teammates went woman. Said now. Don't fall for that. Contain them said. Well what do you mean? They said he's buttering you up man. You can be thrilled at the king is acknowledging you and complimenting you but don't let it affect what happens when you're playing in a game against him you still WanNa dunk on his head coming up. Which part of TATUM'S GAME DOES GREGG? Popovich think still needs improvement as part of your morning routine. Espn daily gives you the most important sports story of the day. But how do you get even more out of your morning with your favorite Mc Donald's breakfast sandwich and right now you can pick two of them for just four bucks from the Bacon Egg and cheese biscuit sausage mcmuffin with egg and Bacon Egg and cheese griddles? Now let's see you hit in that drive through to get more out of breakfast at participating. Mcdonald's for a limited time only at breakfast single item at regular price wake-up Breakfast with McDonald's. Jackie you were around this team a lot. Last year as they struggled you chronicled some of the issues with team chemistry. You mentioned Kyri and Some of those well-known issues at the end of last season before this year began Jackie. How was tatum regarded? What was his sort of state as a player while I think people were disappointed. They were disappointed. Because I think it's okay to struggle a little bit when team start paying more attention to you and I think the Celtics tried to warn tatum after that great rookie season that you're on people's radar now. They're going to try to stop you. They're going to try to flunks you. They're going to try to knock you off your game and I think all of that is understandable. But what isn't understandable or acceptable is when things go bad and you get down and he talked about how you know. I was unhappy. It was not fun. I didn't enjoy it and so I think what happened was on those days when he wasn't feeling that his defensive commitment wavered and that is not acceptable in the story. Danny Aines says look nothing. Forgive a lack of effort right. If you're not willing to play hard defense or good defense all the time I'll find someone else. Who Will you know when things go bad? That's when you're supposed to play harder. I mean that's what saved Marcus. Smart DOES FOR INSTANCE. And that isn't what tatum did. And so I think people said all right just young is that all it is is it just. Youth is it just maturity or is this a flaw in his basketball character. Tatum was coming off of a down season. Last year goes into the summer where he's competing in the Fiba World Cup. How did that experience change him? Well you know. He's in a room with Chris. Middleton Donovan Mitchell and his teammate Kemba Walker and all these great players and they're in a film session and the last thing you ever want to see a film session is your face on the screen. We looked up and very was he knew start shrinking a little bit as seat and they're all the players a kind of looking at him and you know. Gregg Popovich comes over and says well wow. I wish I could be you and start imitating tatum with the very long arms down by side saying wow. I wish I could be stand in the corner like this with my arms down by my side them. Pretty good and TATUM's you know there everybody's laughing and then pop. Put his arm around tatum and said hey look you know gotta be better. That's all couple days later. He's going to get to the train room to get his stuff and popovich grabs him and says you know. Do you understand how special you can be? You know you could be one of the very few great two way players in our game. We're talking about go. Leonard Paul George. You have that ability and you know he was so flummoxed he he didn't even answer and then pop psych. Oh Oh my goodness I hope. I haven't offended. Offended me your compared to Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. I am definitely not offended. It's with Danny ainge and Brad. Stevens have been telling Jason Tatum all along. But it's pretty good to have pop follow up to say Yup they're right what they're telling is true. Now make it happen. That's pretty powerful so after that experience. How has tatum's defense been this season? I think he's answered those questions with the way he's played defense. This year has been very consistent very committed. He's jumping passing lanes. But it's more it's more just the way he's rotating the way he's helping hedging the more nuanced things on the defensive end of the floor. That coaches say those are the things we noticed one of the knocks on tatum. Defensively while he's not very good at that side of the ball. He's not usually asked to defend the best player on the other team. That'll be marcus. Smart or Jalen Brown. Do you think that might eventually change or it'll be forced to in the playoffs. Here's the problem in terms of defense of presents with tatum. He still struggles with the really physical players now. He's getting bigger. He's getting stronger but he's not able to body. Lebron like you saw Jaylen Brown when they played the Lakers. Lebron takes Jaylen Brown in the post in there banging banging and that's just not something that I don't think. Tatum has the physicality to do yet and I'm not saying he can't get there. I don't think we've even seen the full version of Jason Tatum on the defensive. End and part of that is just literally being more physical on the defensive side of the ball. It really feels like he's already had this lengthy up and down rollercoaster career Jackie. He turned twenty two today. That's all ds twenty two years old. He's nolde man. No that's it. We forget all the time how young these guys are. He's not even old enough to rent a car. But when you're a high kick like he was like embiid was like Ben Simmons all these players. The spotlight never wavers. Everybody's watching your every move so. The headline from last year was Jason. Tatum takes huge step back. While the Celtics step back did he take a step back or is it just that people paid more attention to him because he started to establish a reputation. Maybe this was just part of the process. Is he good enough to be the best player on a championship team? Oh it's too early to say and as you know you need more than one and at this juncture Celtics have that you could argue. They're on their way to that. But you know they don't have Lebron James and Anthony Davis they don't have Paul George Kawhi Leonard they don't even have jaanus and Khris Middleton but what they might have is four guys that can duck and we've with you. Maybe they have four guys. That conduct weave their way all the way to the conference finals. Thanks so much Jackie. My pleasure anytime coming up a special club for special pitchers who might be on the verge of getting pushed out for the game. Whatever you want to protect. Nobody has more ways to help. Keep YOU SAFE THAN ADT. The most trusted name. In security you can customize an ADT security package to help protect your home in a way that works for you and your budget. Adt HAS HD video doorbells indoor and outdoor cameras smart lights smart locks smart thermostats flood sensors fire and carbon monoxide detectors all connected to twenty four seven monitoring and controlled by the sound of your voice or the ADT APP. So help protect your home today with. Adt LEARN MORE AT ADT DOT com slash podcast. Here's another story. I want you to know anyone has ever seen a cider. Bullet thrown by PAT. Mahomes KNOWS WHY? It's one of the most celebrated sites in football but in Baseball. The motion is still divisive and thanks to new rules. Mlb It might be more endangered than ever. Which is why. I was fascinated by a piece in the New York Times by Danielle Allen. Talk about a group called side arm. Nation an organization that facilitates discussion and holds camps for pitchers who throw sidearm or submarine. Which is that almost upside down looking angle. It's a place for them to develop their skills and feel like they belong. I mean consider this quote from one of the camps instructors a former submarine pitcher in the White Sox organization named Ronnie Morales. Who told Allan Talk? We're like the field goal kickers of baseball. Go over to the side and work on our stuff. No one wants to play catch with us as chronicled in her story. Many sidearm pitchers are self taught. So the group gives them a forum to workshop their craft which is necessary because there are so few of them. According to Allensbach fewer than a dozen sidearm pitchers appeared in the majors last year and even fewer pitch submarine style. Some recent examples include the pirates can tackle V. The diamondbacks Brad Ziegler and most recently the Astros Joe Smith notably. All of those players are relievers because of their niche abilities. Sidearm or submarine pitchers only come into games to face specific batters which is why are they might be marginalized even more now that. Mova's implemented rules requiring relief pitchers to face at least three batters before the removed making it less likely for managers to call on a specialist an unusual pitch which means they might be facing extinction unless they can make a case that they're more than just a side show which I hope is possible because baseball is more fun. When you've got guys changing it up. I mean times and this has been. Espn daily. I'll talk to you tomorrow.