Boston Celtics

By Ty Anderson,

Not that this is anything even close to new information, but the Boston Celtics have something special in Jayson Tatum.

In just his second professional year, the first two games of the new season have come with the budding superstar showing the signs of his offensive game’s impact, and its ability to simply take a game over when necessary. On a team with as many weapons as the Celtics, that’s not exactly a walk in the park. But Tatum made it look like exactly that in the C’s third game of the season, 103-101 win over the New York Knicks on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Tatum’s game obviously shined by way of his team-leading 24 points, 14 rebounds, and eight field goals.

But it was in the final minute of the fourth quarter, and with the Celtics clinging to a one-point lead, that Tatum truly shined.

On the receiving end of a great dish from Kyrie Irving, Tatum seemingly had a wide open lane to the basket. But he whiffed on the dunk, and somehow scrambled well enough to grab his own rebound, giving the Celtics another 14 seconds to survey their options. Tatum’s number was called again, however, and Tatum found the perfect angle — with just two seconds left on the shot clock, mind you — to drop a basket to reset Boston’s edge back to three in what finished as a two-point victory.

“To be so young, to be so poised, it’s an awesome trait for him,” Irving said of Tatum’s late conversion.

Tatum’s performance came at the perfect time for a Celtic squad that gave Gordon Hayward a rest tonight. Though the Celtics were on the second leg of a back-to-back and are managing Hayward’s minutes as best they can, Celtics coach Brad Stevens noted that Hayward’s absence was not pre-planned, and that the 28-year-old is dealing with “general soreness.”

Stevens lost another talent in-game, though, as center Aron Baynes went down with an apparent hamstring injury. Baynes totaled 10 points with a three-for-five shooting night and five rebounds in 11 minutes of play.

The Celtics will return home for a Monday night meeting with the Orlando Magic at TD Garden.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 98.5 The Sports Hub. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.