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Brad Stevens reveals Jayson Tatum ‘plays his heart out’ when against Kawhi Leonard


Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens revealed that whenever Jayson Tatum goes up against LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, he always “plays his heart out.”

Tatum dropped 39 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the Celtics’ double-overtime win over the Clippers on Thursday. After the game, Stevens revealed that Tatum always puts his best foot forward whenever he’s playing against Leonard.

Per Celtics reporter Taylor Snow, Stevens said:

“No one respects Kawhi more than Jayson and appreciates him more than Jayson. He’s going to play his heart out against him on both ends of the court because he knows if you don’t, you get embarrassed pretty easily. I thought he did a really good job.”

The 21-year-old Tatum knocked down critical shots in the game including a smooth move in the first overtime which gave the Celtics a one-point lead.

In double-overtime, Tatum proved to everyone why he is an All-Star. After getting rid of Landry Shamet with a crossover, he finished a tough layup over Montrezl Harrell.

The first-time All-Star is averaging 22.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.4 steals across 33.9 minutes. With his help, the Celtics have tallied a 38-16 record heading into the midseason break.

As a rookie, Tatum immediately made his presence felt especially in the postseason. With the Stevens-coached squad shorthanded, a 19-year-old Tatum showcased why was the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

His second year wasn’t as promising as problems within the team affected his production. But now in his third year as a pro, Tatum is back in business and so are the Celtics.