In a bodily sport that included a dislocated shoulder, a sprained ankle, a twisted knee, and a Flagrant 1 on an arm pull, it was the suave playmaking of Jayson Tatum that made the distinction in a possible playoff preview in opposition to the Warmth on Sunday afternoon.
Tatum lead the Celtics in scoring with 26 and ten rebounds, however he might need been extra spectacular giving the ball up.
“It’s all about making the best learn. They’re not likely going to allow you to play one-on-one. They’re going to point out you a crowd, ship some doubles,” Tatum instructed ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth after posting a formidable 9 assists with only one turnover within the Miami matinee. “It’s all about generally being a decoy and drawing the additional man and making the best move.”
Per Hubbarth, Tatum’s teammates have been 9-of-17 on passes from JT. That’s practically twice as many potential assists that Tatum averages an evening (8.6). His point-of-attack playmaking along with his point-of-attack protection have largely improved this season, placing him squarely within the MVP dialog.
The Warmth appear to be taking part in a model of a 1-2-2 zone protection to lock up Tatum above the break. Whichever aspect he decides to assault, he’ll draw the extra defender on the wing. Right here, it’s a easy learn to move the ball to Jrue Vacation, the very best nook pocket shooter from behind the arc.
During the last seven video games, Tatum has dished out 8, 7, 3, 7, 7, 8, and 9 assists. They haven’t all been spectacular, simply the “proper play.” On this excessive decide from Al Horford, Tatum attracts three defenders: Caleb Martin, Jaime Jaquez Jr, and Kevin Love within the drop. JT makes the straightforward move to Sam Hauser for the open 3.
It will get registered as a secondary help for Tatum. In opposition to smaller defenders like Tyler Herro, all he must do is get this shoulders round his opponent and discover the kickout. The ball pings from Tatum to Pritchard to Vacation for one more open triple.
Joe Mazzulla spammed this play a number of possessions down the stretch, making an attempt to get Tatum on Duncan Robinson. By way of three video games in opposition to the Warmth, the Celtics are 11-of-21 with Robinson as the first defender. Like in opposition to Herro, he is aware of he can beat him within the submit. As a substitute, he patiently waits for the double group — it’s Caleb Martin on this occasion — after which calmly scans for the open participant. Bam Adebayo is guarding each Horford and Brown, however Brown well cuts again door for the straightforward reverse.
Miami is replete with shooters and pesky defenders, however to their detriment, lots of them are undersized in opposition to Tatum (and Brown). These mismatches pressure the Warmth to assist and with JT’s improved playmaking, he can simply as simply decide them aside together with his passing slightly than his taking pictures.