Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy wasn’t necessarily surprised to see the Boston Celtics move down in the NBA draft and nab Jayson Tatum with the No.
Now, more than a third of the way through the 2017-18 season, Tatum leads the NBA while shooting 52.3 percent beyond the 3-point arc.
Tatum has connected on 46 of 88 3-pointers overall, and half of those makes have come in the past 10 games while shooting 60.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Tatum’s late-game triple on Sunday night in Detroit gave him 39 points during clutch time (game within five points in the final five minutes) and, aided by Boston’s high total of clutch games (Tatum has been on the floor for 17 out of Boston’s 19 such games), Tatum was tied for 11th overall in the NBA in total clutch points (39) entering Sunday evening’s games.
What’s more, Tatum is shooting a staggering 66.7 percent in those situations, the highest shooting percentage among any player in the top 25 in total clutch points.
Tatum finished with 11 points on Sunday, one of five Celtics players in double figures in a game that won’t be remember for his offensive beauty.
Jayson Tatum is actually shooting better from 3 (52.3 percent) than he is from the non-restricted area of the paint (28.0 percent) and the mid-range (43.2 percent) so far as a rookie.
At summer league, Tatum dazzled with his Paul Pierce-like midrange game, but Stevens emphasized in the aftermath the benefit of the 3-point shot.
Celtics big man Al Horford, who has stretched his game beyond the 3-point arc in recent years, thinks it showed maturity for Tatum to embrace that change in his own game.
He points out that the NBA level has put Tatum in better position to shoot those 3-point shots.