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The Mass Media

Tatum drops 53 while Celtics continue improved play


Illustration of Jayson Tatum.

This has been a great week for the Boston Celtics. They are on a four-game win streak, Jason Tatum has had a 50-point game, and they have looked good in the fourth quarter.

For one, they are on a four-game win streak that includes the New York Knicks, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trailblazers. To put that into perspective, their biggest win streak has been five games, and tonight, they could extend that streak, facing an LA Lakers team without LeBron or AD. What makes this streak good is that other than the Timberwolves, these are all good teams. Before the Nuggets faced the Celtics, they were on an eight-game win streak. 

In these games, Tatum has looked amazing, averaging 34.5 points with a 53-point game against the Timberwolves. He was named Eastern Conference player of the week because of this. Last spring, before the NBA was shut down, he started to catch fire, and we are starting to see that same thing from him this year.

This is something that Celtics fans should be excited about because not only are the Celtics winning games, but they are fixing one of their biggest problems closing out games. There are tons of examples of the Celtics giving up leads in the fourth quarter, but these were all close games that the Celtics were able to play well in the fourth quarter. The game that stands out is the Nuggets game. In that game, the Celtics were down five points and ended up going on a 31–8 run to end the game. This was a game that at one point Boston was down by as much as 14 points. Earlier in the season, they might have given up on this game and accepted that the Nuggets are a better team, but instead, they fought back, and this is something we haven’t seen them do in a while.

Yet another bright side of this week has been Kemba Walker. While his scoring hasn’t been jumping off the page, he has been impacting the game in every other way. He was close to a triple-double in both the Timberwolves and Trailblazers game. He still isn’t playing like he was for Charlotte Hornets, or even like a max contract player, but just getting a little better gives breathing room for Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown to carry a little less of the load.

All of this, and Evan Fournier hasn’t even been playing because of COVID-19 protocols. Despite not starting off great in Boston, he can be a 16–17 point per game scorer, and take pressure off of Tatum and Brown. Personally, I would love for him to come off the bench so he can be the number one option and keep our offensive going. 

Despite looking good, Celtics fans should not be getting their hopes up quite yet. Right now, they are 29 and 26, which is a lot lower than most people were expecting them to be. Right now, they are the fifth seed. With the Eastern Conference being as close as it is, they can’t get too comfortable, because with one loss, they can fall a couple of seeds. Even when Fournier comes back, there is still no guarantee that we will continue to look at this good. I want to see them lock the fourth seed going into the playoffs, so that they can avoid the play-in tournament and get a favorable first-round matchup. However, this won’t be possible if they start to take their foot off the gas now that they are looking good.

About the Contributor
Josemanuel Cruz, Sports Writer