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Mead High School’s Student News

The Mav

Criticism against Jayson Tatum is undeserved (Opinion)

Despite criticism from media platforms, Jayson Tatum has been playing exceptionally well this season
Kannon Garcia
Jayson Tatum is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the NBA.

Throughout this year, Jayson Tatum has been incredible, despite criticism. Through both his offensive and defensive abilities, Tatum has shown he has what it takes to win MVP.

After struggling in the Denver Nuggets game recently, Tatum came alive against both the Suns and the Jazz. In the game against the Suns, he notably had a beautiful dunk, driving down the lane to throw down a monster jam. While he may have struggled with his shot-making in the paint, he put up 29 points to go along with his 10 rebounds and seven assists. His 5/9 three-point shooting was an excellent addition to an already great night.

In the Jazz game on March 12, he went off. He scored 38 points and had a monster poster for Ben Sensaubaugh. Tatum silenced some of the critics that had been poking at his shot selection, going 13/25 from the field and 4/10 from the three-point line. He also knocked down all eight of his free throws, showing his poise under pressure. This performance was yet another time Tatum has shown up with the league on his back.

Throughout the league, people have been clowning about his late-game shot-making abilities. Among those people was Colin Cowherd.

In a ridiculous statement made on his podcast, he said, “You think Michael Jordan settles for that? LeBron settles for that?”

We expect the best players to make the important shots and to win games for teams. But to say that Tatum is expected to be like Michael Jordan or LeBron James in the final moments of games is plain ridiculous. We are talking about two of the greatest basketball players of all time. The fact that Tatum has to live up to two of the greatest clutch players of all time is just a testament to his abilities.

Further adding to the insanity of Cowherd’s take is the fact that he doesn’t mention anything when Tatum has good nights. With the past few games in the rear view mirror, the “herd” hasn’t talked about Tatum’s good performances. This is the problem that many Celtics and Jayson Tatum fans have with Cowherd. He only focuses on the negatives, and when Tatum has a good game, he ignores how well he did.

For instance, a video from ESPN talked about Tatum’s shot selection in these late moments. The video talks about how he came up “small” in the big moments. Yet most of the time, the video just mentions his regular-season efforts. It fails to recognize that Tatum has had great performances in clutch time in the playoffs.

Looking back on game seven of the 2023 Eastern Conference semifinals, Jayson Tatum dropped 51 points on Joel Embiid and the 76ers. This became the record for the most points in a game seven in NBA history, yet Jayson Tatum isn’t clutch?

The narrative throughout the league needs to change. Jayson Tatum is clutch, and he is certainly an MVP candidate. Look out for the Celtics; they are a contender for the NBA finals this year, and they can certainly hold their own against any other team in the league.

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About the Contributors
Braeden Corliss
Braeden Corliss, Writer
Braeden is a senior. He enjoys running, fishing, hanging out with friends, and playing with his dogs. He is involved with cross country, track, and FCA. He is looking forward to taking pictures for the newspaper and getting lots of sports photos to edit and submit to contests.
Kannon Garcia
Kannon Garcia, Writer
Kannon Garcia is a senior. He enjoys golf, wrestling, and spending time with loved ones. He is involved in sports and the church community. He is looking forward to writing his best articles this year.
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