There’s no denying that Jayson Tatum has taken his recreation to new heights this season. From ending across the rim to enjoying with managed aggression, Tatum is proving himself to be a real MVP candidate.
But, we’re additionally seeing the Celtics make the most of Tatum in new methods, be it because the popper in Spain pick-and-rolls or, extra just lately, because the ‘slip man’ in screening actions, permitting Tatum to roll into house behind the perimeter protection and reap havoc on assist defenders across the league.
One of many higher examples of Tatum working on this manner got here towards the Miami Warmth, the place he merely slipped his display, obtained the rock across the nail, and took to the skies to stuff the rock over Bam Adebayo.
Within the above possession, we get a glimpse of Tatum’s ever-improving power and get to witness his true stage of athletism — one thing we hardly ever see because of the model of his recreation.
When tasked with being the roll man, Tatum can be doing an distinctive job of sealing his man onto his hips, giving him loads of house to show and face the basket earlier than making a drive to both rating across the hoop or suck within the protection to generate kick-out alternatives to a shooter within the nook.
One other possession because the roll man and one other thunderous dunk. The distinction on this possession, although, is how Tatum utilized a display to get a mismatch with Kyrie Irving earlier than utilizing his dimension to take Irving out of the equation when sealing him to obtain the go.
Apparently, this motion started with one thing out of the Celtics ‘fast’ collection, which I just lately wrote about.
I’ve additionally dissected this motion in a bit extra element in order that it’s simpler to see how Tatum utilized his display to generate a mismatch earlier than attacking the house behind Kevin Durant after Derrick White engaged him with an up faux to assist create the driving lane for Tatum.
We additionally noticed the Celtics give Tatum some reps because the curler after they confronted the Toronto Raptors on Monday evening, and once more, the outcomes have been extremely promising.
On this possession, we see Tatum set a again display (rip display) for Marcus Sensible earlier than slipping again towards the rim, discovering an unimaginable quantity of house in the midst of the ground. Credit score to Matt Thomas, who helps off and will get in entrance of Tatum to restrict the dunk risk and contest the shot. Sadly for Thomas, Boston’s budding famous person has the distinctive physique management and may change instructions on a dime, permitting Tatum to barely shift his drive after which contort to get a ‘seemingly’ uncontested look across the rim.
Why is utilizing Tatum because the roll man helpful?
No matter the place he’s on the ground, Tatum boasts immense scoring gravity. So, placing him because the roll man provides a brand new layer of issue for the protection. Both the point-of-attack defender sticks with the ball-handler and abandon’s his group’s switching system, or they settle for the mismatch and observe Tatum in his function.
Think about Tatum’s dimension, size, and power, alongside along with his ever-improving passing means, and all of the sudden, it appears nearly inconceivable to cease Tatum when he’s slipping to the rim, particularly if his display has created a positive matchup for him.
Methods to additional construct on this
Essentially the most logical subsequent step in using Tatum as a curler is to place him into short-roll conditions, the place he can stress a protection as a result of his mid-range scoring and talent to identify cutters or spot-up shooters excessive of a protection.
By permitting Tatum to short-roll into house across the free-throw line prolonged, opposing groups might want to convey their low helpline pick-up factors greater up the courtroom, thus giving extra room for baseline cuts or for shooters to re-locate to a path of least resistance.
One other issue right here is that Tatum is a gifted put up participant, with the power to again his man down, spin off of them, or hit the turnaround fadeaway jumper — all of which is able to give him another choice if he finally ends up attacking from the high-post ought to a defender rush to interact him upon the catch.
General, placing Tatum in a curler place is simply one other evolution in how he can assault opposing defenses as an off-ball risk whereas nonetheless working as a core a part of the Celtics’ offensive eco-system. As soon as Robert Williams returns, it’s thrilling to suppose how Tatum’s function in these actions will evolve and the way the kind of three-man lob actions we’ll seemingly see happen, however for now, it’s enjoyable to see Tatum getting so many open lanes to the rim, and lengthy could it proceed.