Boston’s Jayson Tatum thinks it ‘feels like we’re leaving off from the second half of last season’

“The way that we’re moving the ball, playing with each other, it just feels natural, and it’s fun playing that way,” offered the St. Louis native.

Even though the Boston Celtics’ bench mob couldn’t seal the deal against the Toronto Raptors in the team’s 125-119 overtime loss to the Raps on Wednesday night, star Celtics forward Jayson Tatum likes how his team is playing to start the 2022-23 campaign.

Boston quickly built a lead that surged to 19 points before interim head coach Joe Mazzulla took out the starters, with Boston looking every bit the contender they were at the end of last season. “I think it feels like we’re leaving off from the second half of last season,” said Tatum after the game via CLNS.

“The way that we’re moving the ball, playing with each other, it just feels natural, and it’s fun playing that way,” he added. “I’m just happy with the way we’re playing. It’s fun. We’re moving the ball, everyone’s touching it. It’s been fun the last two games.”

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3GfUPFi

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Will Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown take the Boston Celtics back to the NBA Finals?

Very much easier to talk about than to do, by all early accounts, this iteration of the Celtics is laser-focused on pulling it off.

It is very, very hard to make it to the NBA Finals in any given season. In fact, many of the greatest to play the game never made it that far as clear evidence of that fact. It is even harder still to make it back again, which is exactly what the Boston Celtics hope to do with their two young star wings, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.

Very much easier to talk about than to do, by all early accounts, this iteration of the Celtics is laser-focused on pulling it off — and with reinforcements in tow at that.

After having added some big man depth to bolster the frontcourt during Robert Williams III’s absence, traded for point guard Malcolm Brogdon, and signed forward Blake Griffin, this team is poised to do some serious postseason damage.

And it isn’t out of the question that injured swingman Danilo Gallinari might return in the playoffs. But will it be enough?

“Hoops Tonight” host Jason Timpf gave his opinion on a recent episode of his show — take a look at the clip embedded above to hear it for yourself.

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3GfUPFi

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Was it a snub for Boston Celtics star forward Jayson Tatum to not get any MVP votes in the annual NBA GM survey?

Was the absence of votes for Jayson Tatum in the Most Valuable Player candidate projections a snub — or apropos?

The Boston Celtics had a good showing in the 2022 NBA general managers’ survey, but there were a couple of glaring snubs to the team and its players. Chief among them was the lack of votes for veteran point guard Marcus Smart in defensive categories — and an absence of votes for Jayson Tatum in the Most Valuable Player candidate projections.

To talk about the snubs, and whether the team is currently overrated in the wake of the Ime Udoka scandal and a spate of injuries to the Celtics’ big man rotation, the hosts of the NBC Sports Boston “Early Edition” show dug into the survey results on a recent episode.

Take a look at the clip embedded below to hear what Chris Forsberg, Trenni Casey, Tom Giles, and Andy Hart as they make sense of the results of the annual NBA survey.

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3GfUPFi

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Boston rookie JD Davison on Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum mentoring him

Smart and Tatum have evidently been helping the Alabama guard with his transition to the NBA.

It was a bit of a surprise for many Boston Celtics fans when the team elected to roll the dice on an unproven prospect out of Alabama who flashed some seriously high-level potential amid an absolute mess of a debut season with the Crimson Tide.

But trusting in their ability to help that prospect — JD Davison — find his footing at the NBA level, Boston selected the Alabama floor general with its only pick in the 2022 NBA draft. Wowing fans with his summer league play soon after, it seems probable the Celtics made the right call. Veteran players Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum have been excellent mentors to Davison per the man himself.

Watch the video embedded above to hear him talk about his time with Boston so far, and what that duo has been helping Davison with as he adjusts to the NBA game courtesy of our friends at CLNS Media.

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Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3GfUPFi

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Boston Celtics make solid showing in NBA’s annual GM survey

The results, written up by the NBA’s John Schuhmann, were created from a total of 50 questions sent to GMs around the league.

The league’s annual “NBA app” survey of all 30 ball clubs’ general managers has been published, and as you might expect for the Boston Celtics‘ current status as serious contenders for an NBA title, the favorite team of many of you reading this has a substantial presence among the included questions’ replies.

The results, written up by the NBA’s John Schuhmann, were created from a total of 50 questions sent to GMs around the league, with the caveat included that those general managers were not allowed to answer any questions about their own team or the players on their rosters.

Let’s dive into where the Celtics stand in the results.

Before he was a Boston Celtic, a baby-faced Jayson Tatum wowed fans at Peach Jam

Tatum was an absolute killer even back then.

Though now a star for the Boston Celtics and one of the top players in the world, it was not all that long ago that Jayson Tatum was relatively unknown to those of us not obsessed with NBA draft prospects or paid to analyze them. In fact, it was in 2015 that the future Boston star emerged onto the national scene with a dramatic comeback win over future college teammate Harry Giles III’s CP3 squad in the Peach Jam semifinals.

After that victory, the St. Louis native declared for Duke where he’d team with Giles, averaging 24.1 points, 7.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game in the process.

Check out a clip of baby-faced Jayson Tatum being an absolute killer even back then while we wait for the NBA season to arrive.

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3GfUPFi

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‘Everybody takes pride in guarding their yard,’ claims Jayson Tatum on the Boston Celtics’ defensive focus

Defense was key in the Celtics’ 2022 run to the NBA Finals — and will need to be this season if they are to return.

Defense was the Boston Celtics’ calling card in their run to the 2022 NBA Finals, and it will have to be a major component of their play again if they want a shot at getting back to the league’s biggest stage in 2023.

Speaking to the media after practice on Thursday afternoon, Jayson Tatum acknowledged the importance of that side of the ball in 2022-23.

“We had five guys last year get an All-Defensive vote and that’s contagious,” Tatum said (via Celtics team reporter Taylor Snow). “Everybody takes pride in guarding their yard, and we’ve got to help each other out.”

“That’s what we have to hang our hat on … defense,” the St. Louis native said. “To try to be the best defensive team in the league again.”

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3GfUPFi

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Is star Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum overrated?

At least one analyst is making the case.

While most people reading this will undoubtedly be doing so through green-tinted lenses, is there a possibility we are overrating star Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum?

The St. Louis native broke into the top 10 players of ESPN’s annual “NBA Rank” exercise that sorts the top players in the league, but some fans do not believe Tatum warrants such a lofty assessment. Along with a handful of other such players, a new video makes the case the former Duke standout is one of the most overrated players in this year’s ranking.

Take a look at the clip embedded below to hear what the folks over at the Hoops Reference YouTube channel have to say about Tatum being overrated.

We might be biased as well, but from where we are sitting, Tatum seems very well-ranked given the context.

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3GfUPFi

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What do Boston Celtics stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum need to do to succeed this season in the absence of Ime Udoka?

With so much talent on the roster, are things really so bleak?

What do Boston Celtics star wings Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum need to do to succeed this season in the absence of head coach Ime Udoka?

After a scandal rocking the organization seemed to come out of nowhere on the heels of bad injury news about veteran swingman Danilo Gallinari and starting center Robert Williams III, the situation looked a little bleak in Boston.

But with seven players ranked in the league’s top 100 players on the roster and six who should be healthy on opening night, it is not out of the question that the team can succeed if the principles instilled by Udoka stick without him being present.

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NBC Sports Boston’s Amina Smith and Chris Forsberg linked up with the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn to talk over what the Jays need to succeed this season with Udoka on the bench.

Take a look at the clip embedded above to see what they had to say about Boston’s situation moving forward.

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3GfUPFi

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Celtics are still NBA title favorites after Ime Udoka’s suspension, but should they be?

Getting to the Finals is hard enough under normal circumstances.

Somehow, the Boston Celtics remain the betting favorites to win the 2023 NBA title. Even after news that head coach Ime Udoka is being suspended for the entire season, Boston’s odds saw minimal movement at several sportsbooks.

The Celtics are still the +500 favorites at BetMGM, and Tipico Sportsbook only dropped them from +500 to +600 — tied for the top spot with the Golden State Warriors.

No doubt, Boston’s roster remains as talented as it was before Udoka’s suspension, and even more so than it was during the team’s run to the 2022 Finals. But if Udoka was credited for implementing the defensive mindset that allowed Boston to get over the hump last season, wouldn’t his absence have the reverse impact?

It’s easy to say they know what it takes now, but do they? The Celtics didn’t actually finish the job. And now, they’ll be attempting to do it without the person who was supposed to hold everyone accountable.

2022-23 NBA Title Odds (BetMGM)

Reaching the Finals in consecutive seasons is hard to do as it is. Add in the cloud of Udoka’s alleged actions hanging over the team, the mystery of it all and the potential for more distractions down the line, and I’d recommend steering clear of Boston’s odds.

The NBA is too talented to assume a rookie coach can just step in and push the right buttons to get a first-time finalist back to the top (even if Udoka got them there his rookie season as a coach). Even if Joe Mazzulla — now the league’s youngest head coach at 34 — can pull it off, the team Boston faces in the Finals will be a monster. The Western Conference has no fewer than four legitimate title contenders. The East won’t be a cakewalk either with teams like the Milwaukee Bucks (+650), Brooklyn Nets (+700) and Philadelphia 76ers (+1400) still boasting major star power.

Robert Williams’ health is also a concern. He’s out at least eight to 12 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left knee for the second time this year.

None of this is to suggest Boston won’t be in the mix too. As long as Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Al Horford are all healthy, the Celtics will be formidable. And the addition of Malcolm Brogdon in the offseason adds more ball-handling and shooting. But I wouldn’t be so quick to think of Udoka’s suspension as a non-factor when it comes to winning a title.

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