Pivotal Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat takes place Wednesday night at the FTX Arena, and JJ Redick is expecting a great performance from Jayson Tatum.
The Celtics superstar was named to the All-NBA First Team on Tuesday. It’s the first time in his career that Tatum has been elected to the first team. He was a third team selection in 2019-20.
Tatum was Boston’s best player in the 2022 NBA playoffs, although he had a few lackluster performances. But, to his credit, he responded very well every time. After a tough Game 3 loss to the Heat, Tatum rebounded with 31 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocks as Boston cruised to a 102-82 victory in Game 4 that tied the series at two. everyone wins.
What should we expect from Tatum in Game 5?
“We’re going to have the first All-NBA Jayson Tatum. That’s who he is,” Redick said Wednesday morning on ESPN’s “Get Up!” show. “I’ll say it again: All-NBA First Team Jayson Tatum. Yes, he’s allowed to have shoot nights. For me, it comes down to turnovers, that’s where it’s a problem.
“If we look at Game 3 of this Bucks series, which (the Celtics) lost, he had 10 points and rebounded with 30 (in Game 4), 34 (in Game 5), 46 (in Game 6), 23 in a closing game. Let’s not have this story where Jayson Tatum is all of a sudden this inconsistent player. He’s First Team All-NBA Jayson Tatum.
Wednesday night’s game is a big moment for Tatum. The All-NBA First Team players are thriving in the kind of situation he will face in Game 5 – the opportunity to take a 3-2 series lead and move to a win of reaching the NBA Finals.
Tatum has had some impressive feats so far this season — All-Star Game starter, All-NBA First Team selection, and more. The next step is to perform at that top five on the biggest playoff stage. Everything we’ve seen so far suggests he’s up for the challenge.