The Boston Celtics may be without All-Star pair Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward in the playoffs but their absence has allowed another star to emerge.
Jayson Tatum has been terrific throughout the postseason for the C’s and doesn’t look like a rookie competing in the playoffs for the first time.
The 20-year-old has truly come of age in their Eastern Conference semi-final series against the Philadelphia 76ers.
After posting a career-high 28 points in a dominant game one win earlier in the week, Tatum followed that up with a 21-point outing on Thursday night as the Celtics claimed a 108-103 win to take a 2-0 series lead.
After Boston’s leading scorer Irving was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign with a knee injury, the Duke product assumed more responsibility offensively and he hasn’t disappointed.
His scoring numbers have been so impressive in recent games that it’s seen him set a historic milestone.
Tatum has now become the youngest player (20 years, 61 days) in NBA history to score 20+ points in four straight playoff games.
He surpasses the previous youngest who was Kobe Bryant (20 years, 272 days) when he achieved the feat in 1999.
The Celtics selected the small forward with the number three pick that they acquired in a trade from the 76ers after giving up the number one pick.
Philly took Markelle Fultz but Boston are definitely the happier as their athletic youngster is making a name for himself already.
As well as the NBA record books, Tatum also made franchise history as he's now the first Celtics rookie since Larry Bird to score 20-plus points in four consecutive postseason outings.
The impressive first-year man is not only making the Fultz trade look silly, he's also outplaying the likely Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons in the series so far.
The bigger the moment, the more determined Tatum becomes and he's continuing to seize it with Boston's star names sidelined.
After averaging 13.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists in the regular season, Tatum is now posting 17.4 points, 4.7 boards and 2.4 dimes in the playoffs.
This is just the start for the St. Louis native and it's clear to see that the Celtics have another potential superstar in the making.
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