The Boston Celtics will continue their quest for their 18th NBA championship on Wednesday when they begin the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Miami Heat.
Whether they raise another banner to the rafters or fall short again will largely depend on the play on Jayson Tatum, their biggest star.
Some feel he still has some room for improvement in certain areas, but right now, among players on teams that are still in the playoffs, he leads everyone in made 3-pointers.
Interestingly, his co-star Jaylen Brown is second on the list.
Most 3-pointers this playoffs (remaining players only):
42 — Jayson Tatum
33 — Jaylen Brown
32 — Jamal Murray
30 — Malcolm Brogdon
29 — Marcus Smart
28 — Michael Porter Jr
27 — Derrick White
All Celtics and Nuggets. pic.twitter.com/fpGmzaeF1D
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 16, 2023
Tatum had a peak year during the regular season, averaging 30.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, all of which were career-highs.
He shot a relatively modest 35.0 percent from 3-point range during the regular season, and although he is at just 35.9 percent from downtown in the playoffs, which is rather average, he’s attempting 9.0 such attempts a game.
When Tatum is hot, he can hit contested 3-pointers in succession and summon memories of the late Kobe Bryant, whom he considers a mentor.
Tatum was about as hot as a player can be on Sunday when he erupted for 51 points on 17-of-28 overall shooting and 6-of-10 from beyond the arc plus 13 rebounds when the Celtics routed the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs.
In this next series, he may have to match the production of Heat star Jimmy Butler, who often goes into volcano mode in crunch time, at least for stretches.
The Celtics are favored, but Miami will not make things easy on them.NEXT: Robert Kraft Makes Bold Prediction After Celtics Game 7 Win