Yup, that'll do it.
By my calculations, we haven't really seen any Tatum basketball footage since the NBA Finals. I could be wrong there, but I don't think I am. That's part of the reason why I was so excited for yesterday's Crawsover Pro Am in Seattle once we learned that Tatum had signed on to participate. Lord knows I'm a sucker for some gold old fashioned offseason basketball propaganda where we see our favorite players absolutely destroy non NBA competition, so this was right up my alley.
While it sucks that they had to call the game in just the second quarter due to some condensation on the floor given that there were about a billion people in that gym, that was obviously the right call. We're here to have fun not see an NBA star tear their ACL. You get even the slightest bit of wetness on that floor, you have to shut it down. I wish it didn't happen though because make no mistake, Tatum was probably going to drop 60+ points in this game. The dude had 20 in basically a quarter and a half!
Watching him go off like this was very cathartic not just for me, but Celts fans everywhere. There's nothing better than when Tatum is locked in like this and doesn't even touch the rim. That's the jumper I remember. I spent far too many hours last night rewatching all the different angles and you'll never believe this but every single one delivered
Of course with stuff like this, there will of course be the
"Where was this in the Finals huh?!?!?!?!?"
losers who just like to complain about something. Yeah, Tatum stunk in the Finals. We all remember. That's something he's going to have to overcome and the only way to do it is to get back to the Finals and come through.
But if you were wondering how Tatum was looking as we head into the pretty massive 2022-23 season, my eyes tell me he's ready. He's talked before about starting the season strong and not waiting until like December to get going, and if he wants to be in the MVP conversation this year that's pretty much what has to happen. That footage tells me it's certainly possible that we are about to experience the best version of Jayson Tatum to date, and this is a guy who is already doing shit like this
After waiting so long to get even the smallest look at Tatum's offseason work, the Crawsover Pro Am delivered in ways I didn't know it could. There's just something about Tatum when he gets into that shooting zone that doesn't seem normal. During the year when we see it in real time we declare that Jayson Tatum is Jayson Tatuming and that's what those highlights were. That may as well have been Game 6 vs MIL the way he wasn't even close to touching the rim. Remember that shit?
When he's locked in like that, all you can do is pray. It's tremendous. It's intoxicating. You're truly watching a master at work.
Here's my problem though. After seeing him play yesterday, I have a bit of an issue
I need more. Immediately. I don't care what it is. Shooting drills with Drew Hanlen, some run at Rico Hines down in Miami, another Pro Am game. I do not give a shit, I just need more. We still have way too long to wait until the preseason starts so I'm going to need the internet to come through not just for me, but for all of us.
Watching Tatum go nuclear is one of the best ways to spend your time, and I would like to do it again please.