Jayson Tatum is on the precipice of cementing his status as an all-time great

The Boston Celtics and Jayson Tatum are cementing their status as all-time greats.
2024 NBA Finals - Game Three
2024 NBA Finals - Game Three / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

On the doorstep of his first NBA Championship, Jayson Tatum is on the precipice of cementing his status as an all-time great.

Since the moment he made his NBA debut, it was clear that the sky was going to be the ceiling for Jayson Tatum. It wasn't long into his rookie career that he was drawing comparisons - because of his size and skill set - to Kevin Durant. And while he may not be the dominating player that KD was in the prime of his career just yet, there's no question that Tatum is on the precipice of cementing his status as an all-time great.

After taking a 3-0 series lead over the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals, Tatum is on the verge of winning his first NBA Championship and quieting all the doubters. The rebuttals on Tatum never had to do with his talent. It was always about whether he could win the big one, or win when it mattered the most.

Two seasons after blowing a 2-1 series lead against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, and four Eastern Conference Finals losses through the first seven years of his career overall, Tatum is about to break through to earn his first ring.

The questions about winning are gone. The no championship ring narrative isn't something that will be held over his head for much longer. On what is going to be remembered as a historically dominant Celtics team, it's Tatum who is pulling all the strings.

Jayson Tatum in the NBA Finals

That much was evident in Game 3. Without Kristaps Porzingis, who played a huge role for the team in Games 1 and 2, and with little help from the team's supporting cast (with the exception of Jaylen Brown), Tatum answered the bell in setting the tone for the Celtics after falling behind early. Tatum finished with 31 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Three games into this series, even though Tatum hasn't lit it up in terms of scoring, he's certainly found a way to positively impact the team in other ways.

Tatum is averaging 22 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists per game in the NBA Finals. Tatum has struggled with his shot throughout these playoffs but has still been the Celtics' most important player throughout their run.

For as crucial as Brown and Derrick White have been on both ends of the floor, it's Tatum's playmaking and threat on the perimeter that has helped make the Celtics a historically dominant team. And the scary part about this Celtics team is that they're not going anywhere.

The core of this team is under contract for next season and the only player that could perhaps be on the verge of leaving is White, who has one year left on his contract. Even then, with how aggressive this front office has been recently, it wouldn't be surprising to see them do everything in their power to sign him to an extension this offseason.

Entering the prime years of his career, Tatum will have a chance to truly carve out a special career. Everything is in place. He's surrounded by a special team, a special coach, and a special front office. Tatum has arrived and once he wins the NBA Championship, you can't help but consider him an all-time great.

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