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Celtics’ Jayson Tatum joins Kobe Bryant, LeBron James among playoff elites with Game 1 performance vs. Heat

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Boston Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum has scored at least 20 points 21 times in a playoff game before the age of 23.

Only Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Derrick Rose have scored 20 points in a playoff contest before turning 23 more times than Tatum.

Jayson Tatum is going to be a superstar in the NBA for a long time. The Celtics are expected to sign the All-Star swingman to a lucrative rookie-scale extension this offseason, and he’s fully deserved it.

Celtics fans are praying Tatum spends his entire career in Boston as Kobe Bryant did with the Los Angeles Lakers. It has to be special for Tatum to be on a list with Bryant, who was his idol growing up. The Boston star trained with Bryant a few summers ago and learned a lot about the game. A max contract certainly would help make that a reality.

To honor Bryant — who tragically passed away in a helicopter crash in January — Tatum wants to win the 2020 championship. The Celtics are looking to make the NBA Finals this season for the first time since 2010. Ironically, the last time Boston has been in the Finals was during a loss to Bryant and the Lakers in the 2010 Finals in seven epic games.

The Celtics are certainly fortunate to have Tatum on their roster. Brad Stevens and Co. are looking forward to seeing how good Tatum is going to be next season as he continues to get stronger and more polished as a scorer.