Recently on the Bill Simmons podcast, Celtics stud Jayson Tatum sat down to discuss various topics including his young NBA career, Brad Stevens, high school and college hoops, and his focus for next season.
The rookie (now sophomore) made a huge splash on the NBA radar by seamlessly fitting into the Celtics scheme. Offensively and defensively, Tatum played like a vet in big moments. His impact was felt immediately, and he showed much promise by making plays like this:
When discussing the contending teams from last season and where they may end up this season, Simmons eventually got to Houston. In response to Simmons implying that the Rockets got worse by losing Ariza, Tatum responded: “they got ‘Melo”.
There’s been a lack of support for Carmelo Anthony this summer, similar to the last offseason when there was a debate on who he should’ve signed with. Many are of the mindset that he should have gone to Houston last season and that the ship has sailed. Not Tatum though…
“I’m definitely a fan of ‘Melo. Obviously, he’s not the defender that Trevor Ariza is, but he’s a better scorer…A lot of people hate on Melo, I don’t see why. He’s averaged 20 points every year of his career besides last year. Not too many people have done that.”
Although Anthony had a subpar season based on his standards, he showed flashes of what he could do in peak form. A career 24.1 PPG scorer would clearly struggle to adjust being a role player and not the number one option on his team. Still, averaging 16.2 PPG and 5.8 RPG is a far cry from being washed, and Tatum acknowledged that. His 2017-18 season average was his lowest output since the 2004-05 sophomore season average of 20.8PPG per Basketball-Reference.
It remains to be seen how the 2018-19 NBA season will play out. However, expect most of the previous season’s contenders to be back in the mix. The Warriors, Rockets, Sixers, and Celtics will all be in play for Conference Finals appearances. Oh, and that team LeBron joined in LA, might have something to say about that.