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Four-Time All-Star Believes Jayson Tatum Isn’t Under Pressure

Many are debating if Jayson Tatum is facing pressure to lead the heavily favored Celtics to a championship.

Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics have been one of the better NBA teams since he joined the league. The 26-year-old was selected third overall by Boston in the 2017 NBA Draft. Now in his seventh season, Tatum is currently in his fifth Eastern Conference Finals. Boston is up 1-0 on the Indiana Pacers in the series after a thrilling 133-128 victory in overtime. Tatum finished the win with 36 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

The five-time All-Star has advanced to the NBA Finals just once. That came in 2022 when the Celtics fell in six games to the Golden State Warriors. Is the pressure on both Tatum and the Celtics to break through and get the team’s first championship since 2008?

Four-Time All-Star Believes Jayson Tatum Isn’t Under Pressure

Boogie Cousins Doesn’t Think So

On ‘NBA Unplugged With Kevin Hart’, the comedian brought up the narrative that Tatum is under pressure to take that next step towards becoming a champion. The show was on ESPN2 and the game was being live broadcast. It was in the second quarter when Hart made that statement. Four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins was a guest on the show. He disagreed with the narrative that the 6-8” forward is under pressure.

Cousins, who last played in the NBA in 2022, brings up that there are players who have been in the league longer than Tatum who haven’t received the scrutiny Tatum has. Some players he may have had in mind when saying that are Paul George, James Harden, Jimmy Butler, Damian Lillard, and Russell Westbrook.

All of these players are surefire Hall of Famers but haven’t won a championship. While Cousins may be correct in that assertion, Tatum plays in a huge market on a team that has won championships galore. The Celtics have 17 championship banners hanging, tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for most in NBA history.

Should Tatum Be Feeling Pressure?

Tatum won’t be 27 years old until March 3 of next year. There’s a good chance that there are still plenty more seasons where he plays at an All-NBA, MVP candidate level. Michael Jordan didn’t win his first championship until he was 28. LeBron James was 27 and in his ninth season before he won an NBA title. Nikola Jokic, the three-time MVP, was 28 when the Denver Nuggets won his and the team’s first championship last season.

All those players though also faced plenty of scrutiny before getting that first championship. Some believe that Jokic didn’t win MVP in the 2022-23 season due to voters knowing that the Nuggets hadn’t reached the promised land in previous postseasons. After Boston’s Game 1 win over the Pacers, they are fairly strong favorites to win their first championship in 16 years. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Celtics are listed as -170 to win the 2024 NBA Finals. Next comes the Minnesota Timberwolves at +280, followed by the Dallas Mavericks at +500 and the Pacers at +3500.


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