The Boston Celtics reached the NBA Finals for the first time in years last season.
It was a huge accomplishment, especially when you consider how the team started the year and the turnaround they created to make a strong playoff push possible.
In the end, they didn’t have what it took to overcome the Golden State Warriors but people were still very impressed with the Celtics.
And a large part of their power and success was due to Jayson Tatum.
Tatum has become the centerpiece of the team’s rise and is now the lynchpin that holds it together.
He couldn’t get them across the finish line last year but he did so well that he rivaled one of the best players of all time.
Celtics' single-season scoring leaders (reg. season and playoffs combined)
1. Larry Bird ('84-85) – 2,815 PTS
2. Larry Bird ('86-87) – 2,698 PTS
3. Larry Bird ('87-88) – 2,692 PTS
4. Jayson Tatum ('21-22) – 2,661 PTS
5. Larry Bird ('85-86) – 2,581 PTS
— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) August 14, 2022
Looking at a list of the Celtics’ single-season scoring leaders, you see that Larry Bird has four of the top five spots.
But there is Tatum at the number four position, with 2,661 points for the 2021-22 season.
As the new season starts, Tatum will once again try to top Bird and become one of the greatest Celtics stars to ever do it.
Tatum put up 26.9 points, 8 rebounds, and 4.4 assists a game during the 2021-22 season.
That was undeniably his best season yet and, unsurprisingly, resulted in his first Finals appearance.
In just a few short years, Tatum has become something of an icon and legend for Boston.
That will only become more true in the years ahead.
The Celtics fell short last season but it seems like Tatum is getting better and more comfortable in the postseason.
Therefore, don’t be surprised if Tatum does overtake Bird in the new season – and lead his squad to the promised land.