Celtics defeated Pacers by 51 points: 8 points from a dominant victory
Aaron Nesmith saw a Bleacher Report post poking fun at the Celtics trade. He takes it personally.
Only four games into the season, Jayson Tatum’s scoring prowess appears even more refined than last year, when he became the first Celtic to average 30 points in a season.
He’s clearly packed with muscle, giving him even more power to attack the rim and create space on post-ups. It shoots scorching hot 56 percent from the field during his first four games.
Tatum scored 21 of his team-high 30 points during halftime of Wednesday’s 155-104 win against Indiana. He went 9 for 15 from the floor, including 3-for-5 from 3-point range.
Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said he sees a more patient version of Tatum this season, which will help his scoring output.
“I’m just going to slow down,” Mazzulla said. “Just taking what the defense gives him, whether it’s a layup, or a paint shot, or a catch-and-shoot 3. I think he gets into his spots quicker and gets into his movements quicker. When he sees the defense, he slows down to make the right read.”
Celtics guard Jrue Holiday, who played against Tatum and the Celtics the past three seasons as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, praised the completeness of Tatum’s game.
He said nothing about Tatum’s play has surprised him since joining the Celtics.
“I think he has everything. He’s just a complete player,” Holiday said. “I think there were times when there was a misconception about playing him on defense, but I think we’ve seen him play defense. He can lock up. He’s athletic, he’s got length, he can move his feet and slide.”
“Not only that, but there are guys anchored there,” Holiday continued. “You have D White, you have me, you have JB, playing defense and helping each other. Offensively yes. He has everything.”
As a team, the Celtics shot 57 percent from 3-point range and had seven scorers in double figures. Holiday said Boston’s talent makes the game easier for him, and the team’s willingness to share the ball helps.
“I think the ball has energy,” Holiday said. “I think that’s the way most people play basketball. Sometimes when it’s too stagnant, playing 1-on-1 it can get quite dry, but the ball has energy. When you move like that and crawl to the basket, it feels good to give your man a bucket.
Celtics guard Derrick White said Tatum and Jaylen Brown set the tone with their unselfishness and willingness to do the little things.
“I think JT is one of our best screeners,” White said. “He’s got everyone around the league like, ‘Where’s JT?’ So it is very important for us that he screens and causes confusion for other teams. Those guys will do everything they can to win and help us on both sides of the ball. They also do all the little things for us.”
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