While plenty of players are aiming for the league's MVP award or trying to make one of the three All-NBA teams, Tatum's focus is on his defense, per Jeff Goodman of The Messenger.
“I want to make an All-Defensive team,” The Celtics star declared. “That’s what I want.”
Tatum is a talented two-way player with lots of personal accolades to his name, yet he's never been named to the NBA's All-Defensive team. Despite never receiving this recognition, the former third overall pick can make a difference on the floor other than just scoring the ball. He's averaged at least a steal per game over the course of his now six-year career and Tatum has averaged over a block per outing in three different postseason runs.
Of course, there's more to defense than statistics, but at 6-foot-8, Tatum has the size and versatility to guard almost anyone in the league.
2 minutes and 12 seconds of Jayson Tatum playing elite defense on KD/Brooklyn. There’s a reason Celtics fans label him as an elite Two-Way player pic.twitter.com/1ThR41YaZH
— I 😵💫‼️ (@Ibra_Goat) April 3, 2023
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Individual accomplishments aside, Tatum is still prioritizing another goal during the upcoming 2023-24 season: winning an NBA title.
If he wants to be considered as one of the greats in Boston, the St. Louis native will need to bring Boston their 18th title.
The Green Team's championship window is still open with their current roster, as Tatum is surrounded by fellow stars in Jaylen Brown and Kristaps Porzingis. Although the team will look pretty different with Marcus Smart no longer in Beantown, the C's should be a major contender in the Eastern Conference once more.
Whether or not the Celtics are able to get over the hump remains to be seen, but if Tatum plays like he did last season, they'll at least have a chance to make it back to the NBA Finals.