Brad Stevens on Jayson Tatum in Globe interview: 'He can get a lot better'

Brad Stevens on Jayson Tatum in Globe interview: 'He can get a lot better'

Jayson Tatum looked like the best player on the Celtics by the end of the playoffs, dunking on LeBron James and drilling a 3 to give the C’s their final lead of the season in Game 7 against the Cavs.

Coach Brad Stevens doesn’t see Tatum as a remotely finished product, however.

“I think he can get a lot better,” Stevens said in an extensive interview with the Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach. “He did some incredible things.”

So where does Stevens see Tatum improving?

“No. 1 is his durability,” Stevens told the Globe. “He played 99 games. My only concern going into the playoffs was his minutes. We were very alert to that, especially because he dipped a little in January, and really took to heart how important nutrition, the weight room, and the training room are. I think if you talk to anyone down there, he took it to a different level in those areas and just continued to rise as the season went on and played great all season.

“But he can get better. He’s got a chance to be an even better defender. We think he can be an even better cutter, be better in transition or in traffic on drives. He has a chance to be as good as he wants to be. I guess the biggest compliment I can give him is he can get a lot better, because he’s already really good.”

Tatum averaged 13.9 points per game during the season while shooting .434 on 3-pointers. He then upped his production in the postseason to 18.5 points per game while falling just one point shy of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 48-year-old record for points by a rookie in the postseason.

Stevens sees Tatum getting even better as his body matures and he adds strength.

“The commitment to body is really important for him,” Stevens told Himmelsbach. “He’s stronger than people think, but he can still improve. I think the biggest area with young players in general is you add strength, conditioning, nutrition, all that stuff to improve your core so you can play lower for longer periods of time, so you’re not straight up all the time. And that for young players is hard to do. A lot of bigs struggle with that, but he’s a big wing. That’s a big challenge for him when he’s guarding guys like J.J. Redick or Kyle Korver.”

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Source: GreenStreet Blog

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