Celtics’ Jayson Tatum speaks out on why its tough playing against Kawhi Leonard
Before the NBA hiatus, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum was having the best season of his career. The 22-year-old was going coast to coast against superstar players, including Kawhi Leonard. Although they’ve only played each other two times this season, they were very exciting matchups.
In an appearance on All the Smoke, the first-time Celtics All-Star spoke out on Kawhi and why he loves competing against him.
“Kawhi is the real deal,” Tatum said. “He’s not flashy but he gets the job done. I always like how hard he competes on both ends of the floor. I also like watching the Clippers play when I’m not playing.”
Normally, when Kawhi is guarding a player on the opposing team, it means trouble. However, that hasn’t been the case against Tatum this season. When the Celtics played the Clippers in February, Tatum dropped 39 points, scoring a majority of his points on Kawhi.
Additionally, Tatum did a phenomenal job guarding Leonard during that game. When Leonard was defended by Tatum, he shot 4 of 12 and committed three turnovers.
“I’ve been watching film on him since I was in high school,” Tatum said. “Obviously, one of the best players in the league. Top two or three players in the league. You want those moments, just to compete against a guy like that.”
As for Kawhi, who’s arguably the best player in the NBA, he should feel delighted that more young players are looking up to him. Kawhi had to put grind to be in the position he is today.
Nevertheless, this matchup between Tatum and Kawhi will be a must-watch for years to come.