After losing their opener, the Boston Celtics are riding a 10-game winning streak and Jayson Tatum is a major reason behind the team’s run. The third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft has turned his play up a notch, prompting former Celtics big man Kendrick Perkins to air out some Paul Pierce comparison.
I swear Jayson Tatum got a lot of Paul Pierce in his game.
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) November 16, 2019
In Boston’s first 11 games, Tatum holds averages of 20.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. The former Duke standout’s numbers closely mirror those of Pierce, who played from 1998 to 2017 and etched himself into Celtics lore as one of the top players in the franchise’s storied history.
Outside of the numbers, Tatum and Pierce’s respective games also hold quite the resemblance. Tatum is an offensive dynamo capable of scoring from anywhere on the floor. Though his numbers from mid-range — where Pierce is more lethal — still require improvement (36 percent from 16 feet to the 3-point line), Tatum has the skill set that matches what the future Hall of Famer brought to the table for 19 years.
Perkins is onto something here, actually. He knows Pierce very well, having played with him for multiple seasons in Boston which included a championship campaign in 2008.
Celtics fans are hoping for Tatum to develop the same kind of instinct that Pierce exuded in 15 years wearing the Beantown green and, for what it’s worth, the former’s trajectory is similar to the latter.
The future looks promising for the Celtics with Tatum on board.