Boston Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum took the league by storm during his rookie season. However, it appears even he was surprised by the amount of success he enjoyed with the Beantown team last year.
Not only was he one of the best rookies in his class, but he played an integral role in helping Boston get to the Eastern Conference Finals. He admits he did not imagine it happening so early on in his career, via Reddit:
“It was a great experience. I never would’ve imagine going to game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals and against LeBron in my first season. It was something I’ll always remember and a great teaching lesson for me to look back on and make me a better player,” Tatum said in a Reddit AMA.
Tatum's comments are certainly understandable. Some players go their whole careers without ever coming close to championship contention. Those that do often have to wait much longer than Tatum did.
Of course, Jayson Tatum was not the only one surprised by the Celtics success last season. Although there was plenty of hype in Boston with the arrival of point guard Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, it quickly dissipated when they both suffered season-ending injuries.
Not many gave this team a chance in the playoffs without their two biggest stars; however, they still managed to finish with the best record in the East en route to taking LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to Game 7. It is safe to say that the bar has been set high for Tatum's expectations moving forward.