Jayson Tatum was best player on Team USA at FIBA World Cup, per Joe Harris
Tatum only played in two games for Team USA because of a sprained ankle, missing both losses. The Celtics forward averaged 24.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in those games:
“I thought Jayson was probably the best player on our team this summer,” Harris, said, via The Athletic.
“Obviously there were a lot of talented guys there. Unfortunately he got hurt halfway through our trip, but he was leading us in a lot of different areas. It wasn’t this huge statistical thing, I think it was more the presence that he had. What I saw, what he brought every day to practice. It was one of those things where he is super young, but he didn’t act like it, he didn’t play like it, and I could’ve told you this summer that he’d have a pretty good chance to be here today as an All-Star.”
Team USA finished in seventh place in the World Cup.
Tatum used his brief Team USA experience to work on his game, and the results have shown with the Celtics this season. He played in his first All-Star Game on Sunday and figures to be a star in the NBA for the next decade or so assuming he stays healthy.
In 50 games for the Celtics this season, Tatum is averaging 22.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists while shooting 44.3 percent from the field, 38.2 percent from beyond the arc and 81.3 percent from the free-throw line.
Tatum and the Celtics are 38-16. Boston is in third place in the Eastern Conference standings.