This Boston Celtics legend says Jayson Tatum is ‘surpassing’ Kevin Durant

The Boston Celtics may be viewed as where Kevin Durant's best future is according to NBC Sports' Pro Basketball Talk host Kurt Helin Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
The Boston Celtics may be viewed as where Kevin Durant's best future is according to NBC Sports' Pro Basketball Talk host Kurt Helin Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Celtics find themselves up 3-0 in this best-of-seven first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets and fans of the storied franchise couldn’t be happier.

The shamrocks have been one of the most enjoyable NBA squads to watch since the calendar page flipped to January, and their highly efficient and effective brand of basketball from the second half of the regular season has managed to swiftly transition into this year’s playoffs.

While there have been many contributors that have aided in their historic run in 2021-22, there has arguably been no bigger driving force on this team than fifth-year pro, Jayson Tatum.

Starting off the year rather slow and inconsistent, prior to the All-Star break the wing saw himself putting up a somewhat inefficient stat line of 25.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists on lackluster shooting splits of 43 percent shooting from the floor and 33 percent shooting from deep.

Since the illustrious exhibition, however, Tatum has simply been lights out and, as a result, so too have the Boston Celtics.

During this final push of the season, the 24-year-old went absolutely scorched earth, boasting per game averages of 30.4 points, seven rebounds, 5.1 assists, and a steal on 51 percent shooting from the field and 41.5 percent shooting from deep.

The ball club went an incredible 17-5 over these last 22 games of the year and secured the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference standings.

Now, we find the C’s continuing on with their winning ways, remaining undefeated in this year’s postseason with their franchise cornerstone paving the way for this stupendous success rate, boasting unbelievable averages of 29.7 points, five boards, eight assists, 2.3 steals, and a block through three games played.

Easily the most lethal performer in this quarterfinals matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, all fans and media pundits alike can find themselves doing is praise the production put forth by Boston’s top-billed talent.

In fact, former Celtic great, Paul Pierce, is so high on the Tatum bandwagon that he’s gone on to publicly state that the 3x All-Star is on his way towards surpassing his direct opponent in the series, former league MVP and Top-75 player in NBA history, Kevin Durant.

In this series so far, it goes without question that Jayson Tatum is playing at a much higher level than Durant, who is the leader of this championship-aspiring Nets team yet is putting up semi-pedestrian averages (at least, for someone of his ilk) of 22 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists on a putrid 36.5 percent shooting from the field.

Outside of these statistical comparisons, it’s evident that the youngster is getting the better of the seasoned great, for, in 120.9 head-to-head possessions with JT as his direct defender Durant is producing at truly mediocre rates, totaling just 10 points scored on 2-for-15 shooting from the floor and 0-for-4 shooting from deep.

On the flip side, the Boston Celtics star’s stats have been padded in these possessions, as he’s registered two blocks and has forced four turnovers along the way.

Frankly, in regard to Pierce’s recent comments, considering the way Tatum has played during this second half of the season and into the playoffs compared to Durant, it could be considered a “hard to argue” point of view that as time moves on he’ll only continue to move up the league’s talent totem pole.

Watch out you NBA elites–Jayson Tatum’s making his way up the food chain!

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