Prior to Thursday night’s game against the Celtics, L.A. Clippers head coach Doc Rivers raved about Jayson Tatum, suggesting Boston's young forward is already “one of the better players in the league,” adding that it will be “amazing” to see where he ends up after a few more years of development, reports Darren Hartewell of NBC Sports Boston.
Although Rivers joked before the game that he didn’t need to see “any more growth” out of Tatum on Thursday, the 21-year-old gave the Clippers fits, turning in arguably the best performance of his career in a double-overtime win.
He went off for a game-high 39 points on 14-of-23 shooting and made a handful of plays on both ends of the floor that helped clinch the victory.
“He was incredible,” said Kemba Walker of his All-Star teammate, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. “He made every right play. He made every big shot. He was the best player on the court tonight.”
Tatum won’t be among the starters in Sunday’s All-Star Game like Walker will, but the former No. 3 overall pick has emerged as the Celtics’ best all-around player this season, Forsberg argues. Tatum’s ascent is well-timed as he’ll be extension-eligible for the first time during the 2020 offseason.
Barring a major slump or injury in the second half, it’s hard to see how his next contract won’t be worth the maximum salary.
There is more to report out of Boston: