Paul Pierce on Jayson Tatum: 'The sky is the limit for that kid'

Paul Pierce on Jayson Tatum: 'The sky is the limit for that kid'

Celtics legend Paul Pierce likes what he sees in 2017 No. 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum.

Of course, this is telling because Tatum has drawn some early comparisons to Pierce with his ability and willingness to shoot from anywhere, along with a flair for the dramatic and take-charge mentality that can contribute to key makes for Tatum’s teams.

It’s awfully high praise for a player with zero real NBA games under his belt, but even Pierce can’t help but admit that he sees the similarities.

But he sees with it the belief that Tatum is closer to what Pierce eventually became.

“He looks like an older version of me, when I started doing the step-back and stuff,” Pierce said of Tatum in an interview with CSNNE. “When I’m watching him, he looks like a mature version of my game, like sixth, seventh, eighth year. He sees the defense. He knows what’s going to happen before it happens. He understands his position, footwork, his step-back (jumper) is there. His offensive repertoire seems complete.”

But Pierce, who will have his No. 34 retired by the Celtics in early 2018, believes that Tatum has the traits that can take his game beyond just a pretty-looking shot.

“The thing I see, what makes the guy special, there’s a lot of talent in the league. There’s no question about it,” Pierce acknowledged to CSNNE. “Your mentality, your drive, how great you want to be, that’s what separates the good from the great ones. You look at guys from the past, like Kobe [Bryant]’s determination, his competitive spirit. You see guys that were just as talented, they didn’t have the same competitive spirit so they could not reach the levels of other greats.”

So far, C’s fans have only seen Tatum in Summer League action, but there was still plenty to like from those contests. In three games in Utah, Tatum averaged 18.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per contest, and averaged 17.7 points and 8.0 rebounds in three games in Las Vegas. Combined, Tatum managed 18.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest during his time between Utah and Vegas, hit a game-winning shot, and shot a combined 41-for-92 (a 44.6 field goal percentage) over that span.

Concluded Pierce: “The sky is the limit for that kid.”

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Source: GreenStreet Blog

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