Celtics fans have been searching for the turning point in this rollercoaster of a season for what seems like forever now. Well, Friday night may have finally been that sign that they've been looking for. Jayson Tatum had pretty much seen enough during last night's game and did what all great stars do, take over and carry the team to victory.
Tatum ended his night against the Timberwolves with a new career-high 53 points, along with 10 rebounds and 4 assists. He did this while shooting 60% from three-point range on 10 shots and 64% from the field overall on 25 shots. Additionally, Tatum was 15 of 16 from the free throw line, the most attempts he's taken all season, his previous high being 13.
Boston's young star showed flashes of his ultimate potential Friday night: a lethal threat who can take over a game at will. Nothing was too hard for him in last night's win once he started to heat up during the second quarter. Something else that sparked this run for Tatum and the Celtics last night: the fans inside TD Garden, who showed up in a huge way. For the first time in a while, we saw those fans play a huge part in a Celtics win. What I've seen from this team since the start of the pandemic is a lack of motivation to climb back from big deficits. It's almost as if the missing piece could be the hype players can get from the crowd, as TD Garden usually brings a very specific and captivating energy, especially in crunch time.
Tatum needed a game like last night, to show out, shut the haters up and prove that he can take over when it really counts. And although he came to play, he needs to continue this hot stretch into a tough slate of games coming up, against the Nuggets, Trail Blazers, Lakers, Warriors, Bulls, Suns, Nets and Hornets. This will surely will be a tough test as the season comes to a close, but could also show their fans what this team may be come Playoff time.
I understand that the Celtics needed overtime to beat one of the worst teams in the league last night, but hey, this could be the start of a hot streak as we approach the end of the season. Victories over the Knicks and Hornets were great for the standings and could pay dividends in the long run. Little by little, this team is trying to find its way back and, quite frankly, I think last night helped that cause tremendously.
- Sheehan (@401sheehan)