Sunday afternoon, basketball fans thought they would be in Game 7 heaven, with two crucial matchups. Without the Chicago Bulls in the postseason, still, Bulls fans had one major rooting interest.
To see the Milwaukee Bucks’ Championship dreams come to an end.
The Boston Celtics were able to make that happen, defeating the Bucks and sending them packing. Leading the charge was 24-year-old superstar Jayson Tatum, who finished the game with a modest 23 points, eight assists and six boards.
The Celtics, as a team, dominated Milwaukee in this game. But, over the entirety of the series and, well, the whole postseason thus far, it’s been Tatum leading the way.
Jayson Tatum is proving to Chicago Bulls fans what they need to see out of Zach LaVine.
In Game 6, and on the brink of elimination down 3-2 in the series, Tatum stepped to the plate and poured in his best game of the postseason so far. In that Game 6 victory, Tatum scored 46 points to go with nine boards and four assists.
It was truly the Jayson Tatum show, as he and Giannis Antetokounmpo went toe-to-toe in an exciting game.
What Tatum has evolved into at just 24 years old is exactly what the Bulls have desired to see out of Zach LaVine. Three years the elder, LaVine just experienced his first playoff series. While Tatum has been to five-straight NBA postseasons, he’s still a younger player than LaVine and has truly become one of today’s superstars.
In his first series against the Bucks, LaVine was very hesitant — and maybe for good reason. His knee injury had been ailing him for weeks now, and he’ll end up getting that taken care of during the offseason. LaVine wasn’t himself down the stretch this year, and especially not in the playoffs.
Boston has an excellent one-two punch in Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The Bulls very well could have the same thing in LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, even though DeRozan is a bit older than all of these guys.
What Tatum has done, though, is nothing short of spectacular. He’s become unafraid of the moment, taking the big shots and taking over games. LaVine has a similar skill set, getting hot from beyond the arc ever so often and being able to attack the hoop. He is more than capable of becoming a guy who can do what Tatum does for the Celtics.
Once his knee is healthy and free agency is decided, of course, this next year for LaVine and DeRozan is crucial. Assuming he stays in Chicago, LaVine has to finally take that big step into superstardom. After all, if he stays with the Bulls, he’ll be getting paid the max — superstar money.