Scottie Pippen believes Jayson Tatum can lead Celtics to deep run in NBA restart

Ryan Hannable
July 08, 2020 - 10:23 am

This has been a breakout season for the Celtics' Jayson Tatum.

The 22-year-old was averaging 23.6 points per game at the time of the stoppage and has emerged as one of the better players in the entire league.

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Appearing on ESPN's The Jump with Rachel Nichols, Scottie Pippen said Tatum is ready to lead the Celtics to a deep run.

“I think this has been a breakout season for Tatum,” Pippen said, via MassLive. ”He started out this season sort of on a mission to separate himself from the other players who have grown and developed as well as showing some leadership in becoming an All-Star this season, but his scoring was really starting to peak, he again separated himself a little bit from the other players to show that he was going to be the go-to guy, the offensive leader for that team, and I think if this team is to make a run, it has to rely on Tatum’s ability to carry them offensively, and I feel like he’s totally ready.”

Speaking to reporters on a Zoom call Tuesday, Tatum was asked to respond to the comments.

“I don’t put any pressure from what other people say,” he said. “I’ve always admitted that no matter how well people think I played or how bad people think I played, or their expectations, I hear it, I don’t pay too much attention to it. I know what I expect of myself in good times and in bad, so I don’t let it bother me or affect me or get excited about it one way or another.”

The Celtics will resume play July 31 against the Bucks in Orlando.

Related: Marcus Smart wants younger players to take coronavirus more seriously