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Paul Pierce likes Jayson Tatum comparison and calls him "a superstar in the making"

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Throughout his rookie season with the Boston Celtics, Jayson Tatum has been receiving comparisons to franchise legend Paul Pierce due to his style of play. 

It was a bold comparison for people to make so early in Tatum's career but it's something that has been fueled by the former Celtics star. 

Pierce has spent time with the 20-year-old since he was drafted by Boston and admits he sees a lot of himself in the youngster. 

The small forward has had an outstanding debut campaign in the league and has raised his game in the playoffs.

With All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward out injured, Tatum has stepped up to the plate and played a huge role in the Celtics' run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Two

In a recent interview, Pierce was once asked how the Duke product compares to him and surprisingly admitted that he is far ahead of where he was as a rookie. 

"I see it, I definitely do," Pierce told Chad Finn of the Boston Globe. "I wasn't the most athletic guy. Tatum is a lot more athletic than I was. He can use either hand. Once he gets a little stronger in the near future, look out. I mean, he's obviously smart beyond his years.

"When I came out, I was a 21-year-old. He was 19 for most of this season. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but a year and a half, two years, that's a lot of developmental time.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game One

"I had three years of college to develop. He had one year, and he's already doing this. He's a superstar in the making. You can compare a kid like that to me anytime you want."

Pierce didn't play a postseason game until his fourth campaign with the Celtics whereas Tatum has been thrust onto the biggest stage immediately on a contending team. 

But he hasn't been fazed by the moment. After averaging 13.9 points per game in the regular season, last year's number three overall pick has increased this mark to 18.1 points in the playoffs. 

Nobody could've envisioned the St. Louis native having this kind of impact as a first-year player and helping to lead Boston to within two wins of the NBA Finals. 

He's looked more like a seasoned veteran than a rookie all year and credit must also go to head coach Brad Stevens for the way he's nurtured the talented forward. 

Tatum has had a remarkable season but it could still get even better if Boston secures two more wins over the Cleveland Cavaliers to get one step closer to lifting the Larry O'Brien trophy next month.

Listen HERE to episode two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein.

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Topics:
Paul Pierce
Jayson Tatum
Gordon Hayward
Kyrie Irving
Atlantic Division
Boston Celtics
Eastern Conference
NBA

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